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Guantanamo detainee agrees to testify for plea deal

A Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] detainee reached a plea agreement with military prosecutors on Wednesday that included an agreement to testify against other detainees. Under the agreement, detainee Majid Khan [GlobalSecurity profile], a 31-year-old former Baltimore-area resident, will be required to testify at the trials of other detainees in exchange for a greatly reduced sentence and eventual freedom. Khan has agreed to be available to testify at military commission trials over the next four years, and officials said he would then be eligible for a transfer to Pakistan. This is the first agreement to guarantee freedom for testimony offered to a Guantanamo detainee. The military believes Khan worked with with ties to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile], one of the designers of the September 11th terrorist attacks [JURIST backgrounder].

Khan was charged with war crimes [Washington Post report], including murder, attempted murder, spying, and providing material support for terrorism. Before being transferred to Guantanamo in 2006, both Khan's father and Khan's lawyer claimed in 2007 that the high-valued detainee had been subject to "state-sanctioned" torture while being held in secret CIA prisons [JURIST reports]. Khan was denied access to civilian legal counsel [JURIST report] by a federal judge in 2006 in an issue equally as controversial [JURIST comment]. Khan was captured in Pakistan in March 2003 and held in CIA prisons until he and 13 other high-profile detainees [DNI profiles, PDF; BBC profiles], including Sheikh Mohammed, were transferred to the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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