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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:49 AM
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Plea deal signals trouble with case against translator
Plea deal signals trouble with case against translator
By Shelley Murphy, Globe Staff | January 8, 2005

A former Arabic translator at the federal prison camp at Guantanamo Bay has agreed to plead guilty Monday to taking classified material from the base and lying to investigators, under a deal with prosecutors that would make him a free man in a few months.

Ahmed Fathy Mehalba, 32, an Egyptian-born US citizen, will be sentenced to 20 months in prison if US District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock accepts a plea agreement that federal prosecutors filed in US District Court in Boston yesterday.

The resolution of Mehalba's case would mark the end of a series of high-profile prosecutions of translators and military officers at Guantanamo Bay that began with accusations of espionage and treason and ended with far lesser charges or none at all.

Mehalba, a civilian translator, was one of four men arrested in summer and fall 2003 amid separate investigations into whether they had links to Muslim militants or were leaking information about interrogations or detainees at the camp, where the US government has detained hundreds on suspicion of links to Al Qaeda or the ousted Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

But no charges of spying or having terrorist ties remained against any of the four. In Mehalba's case, he will plead guilty to everything he was ultimately charged with: having taken information off the base he should not have had and lying about it.
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http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/20... /
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