Lawyer granted access to Gitmo secret camp

/ Source: The Associated Press

The attorney for an alleged Sept. 11 plotter has been granted permission to visit a mysterious prison-within-a-prison at Guantanamo for men previously held in secret CIA sites overseas, the lawyer said Tuesday.

The lawyer, Navy Cmdr. Suzanne Lachelier, said a judge granted permission to visit "Camp 7" to see if conditions are contributing to mental problems of her client, Ramzi Binalshibh.

Camp 7, which holds 16 men, is so restricted that its location within the Navy base in Cuba is secret and its existence was only publicly disclosed in late 2007.

No previous defense attorneys have been allowed to visit Camp 7, though some have met with prisoners held there.

Judge Ralph Kohlmann, a Marine colonel, granted permission for the visit in a ruling Monday but Pentagon officials said it was not yet available for release.

Binalshibh faces a possible death sentence if convicted by a military commission of murder and war crimes for allegedly helping plot the Sept. 11 attacks.

His lawyer says he suffers from an unspecified psychosis and is taking medicine used to treat schizophrenia. His attorneys are trying to determine if he is competent to stand trial and whether conditions in Camp 7 are aggravating his condition.

Kohlmann denied a request for a defense-hired psychologist to also inspect the camp, Lachelier said. "It's our expert who really needs to go in there," she told The Associated Press. "We're very likely to miss something important."