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Government Abandons Effort to Use Tortured Evidence in Gitmo Habeas Case

The Justice Department informed a federal district court Wednesday that it was no longer seeking to rely on coerced and tortured evidence in the habeas corpus case of Mohammed Jawad, who was arrested as a child in Afghanistan, interrogated under torture, and then locked up at Guantanamo Bay for the last six and a half years.

As I explained when I wrote about this in late June, the government had been relying on confessions that even a Bush military commission judge had ruled were elicted by torture and unreliable. The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents Jawad, filed a motion to suppress the evidence. On Wednesday, the day the government was due to file its opposition to the motion, the Justice Department instead filed papers saying that it would not oppose suppressing the evidence.

As ACLU lawyer Jonathan Hafetz put it to me in an e-mail last night: “This is huge and shows the importance of habeas and court review.”

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