Pre-trial hearings for the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals have been brought to a halt. This is due to sensitive legal documents going missing from Pentagon computers, prompting an IT ban for the defence lawyers in question.
Reuters reports that Pentagon defence lawyers found that confidential work documents began vanishing from servers in February. There has also been evidence suggesting that internal emails and internet searches have been snooped on by third parties. From Reuters:
Navy Commander Walter Ruiz, who represents 9/11 defendant Mustafa al Hawsawi, said “three to four weeks’ worth of work is gone, vanished.” He said what appeared to be a computer folder of prosecution files had turned up on the defence lawyers’ system, though none of them had opened the files.
The incident prompted chief defence counsel for the tribunals, Colonel Karen Mayberry, to order the Pentagon defence lawyers to stop using government computers for sensitive information or drafts of their work. “I’ll be filing a handwritten motion very shortly to ask for an abatement of the proceedings,” explained defence attorney James Connell to Reuters.
It’s currently unclear who or what was behind the breach in digital security. [Reuters]
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