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Department to Release Uncensored Detainee Hearing Transcripts

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2006 – The Defense Department is preparing to release detainee hearing transcripts containing the names of persons held at the detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a senior Pentagon official said here yesterday.

A New York federal district judge recently ruled in favor of an Associated Press lawsuit that sought the release of some uncensored transcripts taken from detainee hearings at Guantanamo, according to press reports.

The department will abide by the judge's ruling, DoD spokesman Bryan Whitman told Pentagon reporters.

The U.S. Justice Department declined to appeal the judge's ruling, which requires DoD to provide the documents by March 3, Whitman said. About 490 detainees captured during the war against global terrorism are being held at Guantanamo, which was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

Transcripts from Combatant Status Review Tribunal hearings conducted at Guantanamo were previously made available with the detainees' names blacked out, Whitman said.

Charges have been filed against 10 detainees held at Guantanamo. But three trials have been postponed, in part, because of a pending U.S. Supreme Court case that likely will decide whether the military tribunal process at Guantanamo is legal under the U.S. Constitution.

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