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Gitmo detainees denied witnesses: Lawyer calls legal proceedings shams
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of MSNBC/Associated Press

MSNBC/Associated Press, November 16, 2006
Posted: November 21st, 2006

The U.S. military called no witnesses, withheld evidence from detainees and usually reached a decision within a day as it determined that hundreds of men detained at Guantanamo Bay were enemy combatants, according to a new report. The analysis of transcripts and records...found that hearings that determined whether a prisoner should remain in custody gave the accused little opportunity to contest allegations against him. These were not hearings. These were shams, said Mark Denbeaux, an attorney and Seton Hall University law professor who along with his son, Joshua, is the author of the report. The military held Combatant Status Review Tribunals for 558 detainees...between July 2004 and January 2005 and found all but 38 were enemy combatants. Handcuffed detainees appeared before a panel of three officers with no defense attorney, only a military personal representative. Representatives said nothing in the hearings 14 percent of the time and made no substantive comments in 30 percent. In 74 percent of the cases, the government denied requests to call witnesses who were detained at the prison. The report is based on transcripts...released earlier this year in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit... The Military Commissions Act, which President Bush signed on Oct. 17, strips all non-U.S. citizens held under suspicion of being an enemy combatant of their right to challenge their detention in civilian courts with petitions of habeas corpus.

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