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Monday, August 21, 2006

Hicks legal papers among those seized by US in Guantanamo suicides probes
Bernard Hibbitts at 8:21 PM ET

[JURIST] Legal papers belonging to Australian Guantanamo detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive] were among those seized by US investigators [JURIST report] in a probe into the June suicides of three other Guantanamo inmates [JURIST report] - a Yemeni and two Saudis - at the US military prison in June, according to Australian media reports Monday. The seizure of Hicks' material and similar "attorney-client communications" belonging to other detainees was disclosed in US federal court papers filed last week. In July the US filed a request with the US District Court for the District of Columbia asking for permission to review [JURIST report] about 1,100 pounds of confiscated personal papers taken from prisoners. If the government's request is granted, a special panel will review all the detainees' documents, including letters from attorneys, and would report anything found that threatens national security or "imminent violence," but not any information that violates attorney-client privilege.

Reacting to the disclosed seizure, Hicks' US military lawyer, Major Michael Mori, called the attorney-client privilege the "last right" of prisoners at the camp that was being respected and expressed disappointment it too was now being breached, but he said he was confused as to why material was taken from Hicks, as he has been kept in isolation in a part of the prison separate from where the prisoners who committed suicide were housed. The Sydney Morning Herald has more. The Herald reported Saturday that Hicks was stripped of British citizenship [JURIST report] in July by order of the UK Home Secretary just one day after he was secretly made a citizen after a lengthy court battle undertaken in hopes that the British government would seek his release.






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