Judge Lets Case Against Guantanamo Translator Proceed
A federal judge found probable cause that a translator at the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay lied to investigators after he was found carrying classified documents. The ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Swartwood allows the case against Ahmed Fathy Mehalba to move forward to a grand jury for possible indictment. The judge found late Thursday that Mehalba knowingly made a false statement to U.S. Customs officials and FBI agents when they asked him if he had any classified information on compact discs in his luggage. He denied it repeatedly and was charged with making a false statement. A review of one compact disc found 368 documents labelled "SECRET" or "SECRET/NO FORN," and officials later determined they were classified.
Well, that one seems like a slam-dunk.
Mehalba had security clearance to see classified documents through his job as a translator at the base, but he was not allowed to travel with such documents.
If he was just a translator, I wouldnât think he would have been allowed to have them at all outside of work.
In his ruling, the judge said the compact disc contained secret information obtained from Guantanamo Bay. He also cited a later search of Mehalbaâs personal computer which he sold before leaving Guantanamo that turned up similar classified documents.
He sold the computer and didnât clean off the classified files? Either he is incredibily stupid, or he tried to delete them and the FBI computer geeks retrived them. And why did he try to bring them back into the US from Egypt? Failed to find a buyer?
Posted by: Steve 2003-10-17