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9/11 defendant leaves Guantánamo hearing, citing 'psychological torture'

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Bin al-Shibh did not describe his “problem” in detail, but whatever happened in the holding cell during the lunch break was enough to convince him to ask to return to his cell.

After consulting with his client, defense lawyer James Harrington said there were underlying problems with detention camp guards that Mr. Harrington said he would seek to resolve with camp officials.

“Sometimes things build up and build up and build up, and that is what happened in this case,” he told the judge.

Another of Bin al-Shibh’s lawyers, US Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Bogucki, noted that the judge had earlier issued an order to the guard force at the detention camp in response to complaints from Bin al-Shibh about noises and vibrations in his cell.

Government lawyers said at the time that there was no evidence that Bin al-Shibh was being subjected to intentional noises and vibrations. But Judge Pohl nonetheless issued an order asking camp officials to stop doing anything that might be causing such a problem.

Lt. Cmdr. Bogucki said that when Bin al-Shibh tried to cite the judge’s order to military guards after the ruling was issued, he was told they knew nothing of such an order.

When Bogucki confronted camp officials about the matter, he said he was told: “This is not a judge issue, this is our issue,” and “if you don’t like it, file a motion.”

The defense lawyer told the judge that detention camp officials showed a “complete lack of respect for your order.” He said based on reports from his client, the harassing activity was both ongoing and retaliatory.

Judge Pohl said that the first time the complaints of noises and vibrations were brought to his courtroom, government lawyers suggested that perhaps the noises and vibrations existed only in Bin al-Shibh’s mind.

“My client suffers from no such delusional disorder,” Bogucki replied.

Pohl said that the appropriate response would be for defense lawyers to contact the camp commander and raise the issue directly with him.

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