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Guantanamo official defends frequent cell searches

Thursday - 10/24/2013, 4:40pm  ET

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) -- A Guantanamo Bay legal official is defending frequent searches of the prison cells of the men charged in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Lawyers for the defendants have accused the government of seizing confidential legal papers without justification. But Navy Cmdr. George Massucco tells a military court that guards in the Camp 7 unit of the prison must review the men's books and documents for their own safety. Massucco says guards in February conducted a search of one cell and found what appeared to be al-Qaida propaganda.

In a search of papers belonging to lead defendant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he says they found plastic zip-ties that could be considered a potential weapon. His testimony Thursday came during a pretrial hearing in the death penalty case. The hearing ends Friday.


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