BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Spanish Portuguese Caribbean
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Americas  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Friday, 12 July, 2002, 23:26 GMT 00:26 UK
'US Taleban' refused access to lawyer
Prisoners in Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Hamdi was held at Guantanamo Bay until his transfer to US soil
A US appeals court has refused an American-born Taleban prisoner captured in Afghanistan permission to see lawyers in a case that could have implications for other such detainees.

US President George W Bush
Bush: Under fire from rights groups for the treatment of US Taleban prisoners

Yaser Esam Hamdi, 21, was detained at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba until US authorities discovered he was born in the state of Louisiana to Saudi parents and had him transferred to US soil.

He is currently being held in a jail in a US naval base in Norfolk, Virginia.

The court ruled that in a time of war the US attorney general has the right to hold an enemy combatant in military detention incommunicado.

Reversal

The decision reversed an earlier ruling by a district court in the state that had permitted Mr Hamdi to meet public defender Frank Dunham.

The news comes as the British alleged shoe-bomber Richard Reid lost a legal battle to have the term "al-Qaeda" removed from the indictment against him.

Mr Reid, whom US authorities accuse of attempting to blow up a commercial flight using bombs hidden in his shoes, had argued that the wording was inaccurate, however the presiding judge said he was satisfied with the reference being used.

Legal arguments

Mr Hamdi's lawyers had argued that, as an American, he should be given all the rights as granted to him by the US constitution, which would include access to a lawyer and the right to a trial by jury.

Alleged dirty bomber Jose Padilla
Padilla, another US born terror suspect is alleged to have attempted to build a radiation bomb

But presiding Judge J Harvie Wilkinson disagreed, saying that in their previous decision the district court had not considered the implications of Mr Hamdi's case, such as the gathering of intelligence.

However in giving his decision the judge said that such decisions could still be open to judicial review, otherwise, he said, the US Government could hold indefinitely anyone it claimed was an enemy fighter.

Human rights groups in the US have contended that the rights of several US-born terror suspects, such as Mr Hamdi, John Walker Lindh and alleged "dirty bomber" Jose Padilla, accused of trying to mount a radiation attack in the US, are being violated.

BBC correspondent Alex Van Wel said that the judge appeared to address this by saying that in a time of war the US president had the right to determine who could be classified as an enemy combatant.


Key stories

European probe

Background

IN DEPTH
See also:

18 Jun 02 | Americas
05 Apr 02 | Americas
10 Jun 02 | Americas
03 Apr 02 | Americas
27 Feb 02 | Americas
13 Jun 02 | Politics
04 Apr 02 | Americas
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes