US judge rules 'treatment of 9/11 suspects won't be disclosed at trial'
A US judge has ruled that details of harsh interrogation techniques used on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other suspected September 11 plotters would be kept secret during their trial.
The order, signed by Army Col. James L. Pohl on December 6 and made public on Wednesday, represents a clear victory for U.S. military and Justice Department prosecutors in the opening round of pretrial disputes.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the first and only trial in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks could begin as soon as next year.
Prosecutors had wanted all information about the five men's arrests and treatment at so-called black sites abroad to remain classified.
Pohl agreed even though some government officials have acknowledged that Mohammed, for instance, was waterboarded 183 times after his 2003 capture in Pakistan.
Waterboarding simulates drowning; many consider it torture.
According to the paper, Pohl also ruled that 'enhanced interrogation techniques that were applied to the accused including descriptions of the techniques as applied, the duration, frequency, sequencing and limitations of those techniques,' would remain classified.
Nor will he permit the defendants or their attorneys to discuss those matters in legal papers or open court.
According to the paper, some human rights advocates have slammed the decision, arguing that it is an attempt to hide the fact that the men were tortured.