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NATIONAL BRIEFING / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Judge questions 'dirty plot' allegations by U.S.

October 31, 2008|Times Wire Reports

A federal judge questioned the motives of Justice Department lawyers for withdrawing allegations linking a detainee in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to a "dirty bomb" plot in the U.S. shortly before they were required to give the defense exculpatory evidence.

"That raises serious questions in this court's mind about whether those allegations were ever true," said U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is overseeing a lawsuit brought by Binyam Mohammed, 30, a resident of Britain.

The government said it stood by the allegations but withdrew them to expedite proceedings. Nevertheless, Sullivan ordered the government to turn over any potentially exculpatory information related to the alleged dirty-bomb plot.

That could force the government to account for Mohammed's disappearance from 2002 to 2004. Mohammed says the CIA rendered him to Morocco, where he was tortured until he confessed.

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