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15 April 2014

FBI Sought Informant from Defense Team

A sends:

From: Connell, James G III CIV OSD OMC Defense <James.Connell2[at]>
Date: Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 3:19 PM
Subject: Military judge issues order to reveal government questioning
To: "Connell, James G III CIV OSD OMC Defense" <James.Connell2[at]>
Cc: "Daste, Erin CTR OSD OMC Defense" <Erin.Daste.ctr[at]>,
"Thomas, Sterling R Lt Col OSD OMC Defense" <Sterling.Thomas[at]>

Military judge issues order to reveal government questioning


Media Contact: James Connell (5322) 5168

Alternate: Erin Daste (5322) 5321

GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA After the recess of military commission proceedings today, Judge James Pohl issued an order requiring any current or past member of a defense team to disclose any government questioning regarding the case, regardless of any non-disclosure agreement. (AE292C).

Earlier today, the military commission heard argument from the defense in the 9/11 military commission alleging that the FBI sought to turn a member of the defense team for Ramzi bin al Shibh into a confidential informant. Counsel for all five 9/11 accused asked the military judge to conduct an inquiry into the potential conflict of interest created by this latest in a series of breaches of defense confidentiality.

"The FBI's ill-advised attempt to turn a member of the defense team against its own is disgraceful. We look forward to a full inquiry by Military Judge Pohl," said Lt Col Sterling R. Thomas, USAF, an experienced prosecutor who is now detailed to defend Ammar al Baluchi.

At the close of today's session this morning, Judge Pohl requested that defense counsel question members of their team to find out if the FBI has similarly approached others in an attempt to create informants. He also gave counsel until 1700 Wednesday 16 April 2014 to provide the court with proposed orders to produce witnesses and documents.

"These men have plenty of reasons to suspect their defense teams already, and the government is simply trying to exacerbate that tension," said James Connell, civilian counsel for Ammar al Baluchi. "The government has tortured these men, planted bugs in the attorney-client spaces, read their legal mail, and now attempted to recruit an informant from within a defense team. What is next?"

James Connell and Lt Col Sterling Thomas, United States Air Force, are detailed counsel for Ammar al Baluchi, also known as Ali Abdul Aziz Ali.