Jan. 30 - Lawyers defending Guantanamo inmates accused on involvement in the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. request permission to spend 48 hours in the prison. Simon Hanna reports.
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
Guantanamo Bay - home to a controversial detention camp of the same name where the U.S. holds prisoners in notoriously difficult conditions.
The prison is not somewhere one would ordinarily choose to stay, but a group of lawyers have requested to do exactly that.
Lawyers defending those accused of plotting the September 11 attacks in the U.S. in 2001 are seeking permission to spend 48 hours in the top secret facility, with follow up visits every 6 months.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) NAVY COMMANDER WALTER RUIZ, A DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR ALLEGED AL QAEDA MONEY COURIER MUSTAFA AL HAWSAWI:
"When the government sets out to put people to death, our Supreme Court has said standards are this high. One of those standards is our ability to go in, look at their conditions of their confinement, look at how they live."
Defence lawyers say harsh conditions could constitute illegal pre-trial punishment, potentially sparing the defendants from the death penalty if convicted for war crimes.
Prosecutors though say that a visit by lawyers would be disruptive, and instead propose a one time visit during which they would not be allowed to talk to prisoners.