Only Voluntary Gitmo Statements Valid, Justice Dept. Says
Posted on Jul 7, 2009
A Justice Department official told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday that only voluntary statements made by terrorism suspects detained in Guantanamo Bay should be used as evidence during their military trials. This means whatever they said under harsh interrogation should not be regarded as fact. The hearing concerned legislation about the use of statements obtained through harsh interrogation.
The Obama administration said on Tuesday that only voluntary statements by foreign terrorism suspects at the Guantanamo Bay prison should be used as evidence at their military trials or else convictions could be reversed on appeal.
Assistant Attorney General David Kris said a serious risk existed that courts would declare unconstitutional the admission of involuntary statements by the accused at their military commission proceedings.
He told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing the administration supported a bill barring the use of any statements obtained by cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, which would cover torture or other unlawful abuse.
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