Officer charged over Guantanamo leak

The US military has charged a Navy officer who worked as a lawyer at Guantanamo Bay with mailing classified information on foreign terrorism suspects to an unauthorised person.

    About 445 detainees are now being held at Guantanamo Bay

    Matthew Diaz, stationed from July 2004 to January 2005 at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, faced a total of eight counts of three criminal charges and could spend thirtysix and half years in prison if convicted on all, the US Navy said.
       
    Diaz, 40, was not charged with espionage and remains free, working at a Navy office in Jacksonville, Florida, ahead of a military hearing set for October in Norfolk, on whether the case will proceed to court-martial, Beth Baker, the regional Navy spokeswoman, said.
       
    The charges relate to improper safeguarding of classified information and improper forwarding of classified information to a person not authorised to receive it.
       
    Diaz was accused of mailing "a multi-page classified document that contained the names and other identifying information" about Guantanamo detainees from that base to "a non-governmental organisation not authorised to receive it", Baker said.
       
    Baker declined to identify the organisation beyond saying it was in the United States, and said the group turned over the document to federal authorities, prompting the investigation that led to the charges.
       
    As deputy staff judge advocate at Guantanamo, Diaz's job was to give legal advice on a variety of issues to military commanders, Baker said, and he never represented any Guantanamo detainees.

    Charge sheet
       
    The charge sheet stated between December 20, 2004 and February 28, 2005, Diaz violated a Navy regulation by failing to properly safeguard and store classified secret information and failing to properly transport and mail such information by sending it via routine first-class mail. It also said he was derelict in his duties.
       
    While the United States for more than four years refused to identify those held at Guantanamo, the Pentagon this spring released the names and nationalities of all the detainees it said had ever been held under military control there.
       
    Diaz was formally charged on Monday, Baker said.
       
    The Pentagon said the US military currently holds about 445 detainees at the Guantanamo facility, most held without charges for more than four years.
       
    The United States has faced international criticism over the indefinite detention of Guantanamo detainees amid allegations of their mistreatment.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    From Zimbabwe to England: A story of war, home and identity

    The country I saw as home, my parents saw as oppressors

    What happens when you reject the identity your parents fought for and embrace that of those they fought against?

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    One woman shares the story of her life with polycystic kidney disease and sees parallels with the plight of the planet.

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    On a gorgeous Florida evening, a truck crashed into me. As I lay in intensive care, I learned who had been driving it.