RealNews

Audio of Attorney-Detainee Interviews Called Illegal

Employees at a federal detention center clearly violated prison rules and federal law by recording the private conversations of attorneys and their clients, who had been arrested as part of an immigration dragnet in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to legal experts and a government investigation. Many defense attorneys and civil liberties advocates also said yesterday that the recordings appeared to be part of a larger effort by the Justice Department to limit or even eliminate the ability of lawyers to adequately defend foreign nationals with alleged connections to terrorism investigations. “The Justice Department has had a very conscious policy since 9/11 of denying access to lawyers and, when they allow access, undercutting the detainees’ right to counsel,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “It has been a clear and distinct policy of trying to limit attorneys at every turn.” Full Story

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