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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Former Guantanamo military lawyer sentenced to 6 months for leaking names
Michael at 10:31 AM ET

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[JURIST] US Navy Lt. Cmdr. Matthew M. Diaz, a former staff judge advocate stationed at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], was sentenced Friday to six months in prison and is to be dismissed from the US Navy for leaking detainee names to a human rights lawyer. Diaz was convicted [JURIST report] at a court-martial Thursday of one count of communicating secret information that could be used to injure the United States, and three counts of leaking information to an unauthorized person. Diaz had faced a maximum of up to 14 years in prison.

Prosecutors argued during Diaz's court-martial [JURIST report] that he endangered the lives of detainees and of US soldiers in the war on terror. Diaz's lawyers said the information leaked was not marked classified and that Diaz had no reason to believe the names of detainees "could be used to injure the United States." In February 2005, Diaz leaked the printouts of approximately 550 detainee names to Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) [advocacy website] lawyer Barbara Olshansky, months before AP forced the Department of Defense to officially release the detainee lists [JURIST report] through Freedom of Information Act requests. In a statement [text] Friday, CCR condemned Diaz's conviction and sentencing, saying that his actions "were grounded in a strong sense of morality and commitment to the rule of law." The Virginian-Pilot has more. AP has additional coverage.

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