CIA captive won’t testify after being tortured in interrogation following Sep. 11 terrorist attack.
Why Zubaydah didn’t testify?
This would have been the first time for Zayn Abu Zubaydah to publicly talk since he was captured in 2002 and wasn’t ever charged. One year later, in august 2003, he experienced a tough interrogation which included 83 rounds of waterboarding, a practice that feels like drowning.
Even though he was harshly questioned, Zubaydah didn’t testify on Friday nor said anything about the situation inside the Guantanamo Bay detention center after a late conversation with his attorneys, who didn’t agree that the suspect takes the stand.
Why Zubaydah wanted to testify?
Zubaydah wanted to be a witness at a court hearing for his detainee colleague, Ramzi Binalshibh, one of the five Guantanamo inmates waiting for trial by a military commission. The five detainees are accused of allegedly participating in planning, preparation and logistically supporting Sept. 11 attacks.
Mark Denbeaux, Zubaydah’s attorney, stated that the suspect will still witness “unafraid of the truth that will emerge, confident that the world will come to know that he has committed no crimes.”
Binalshibh has blamed the guards of making noises that disturbed his sleep and making it hard for him to participate in the case. His lawyer wished for Zubaydah to testify and say how the detainees have been treated.
In a conversation between James Harrington, Binalshibh’s civilian lawyer, and Army Col. James Pohl, the judge ruling in the hearing, Harrington said: “His attorneys have advised him not to testify. The decision last night … was not made until the last minute.”
Background information about the suspect
46-year-old Zubaydah was first captured in Pakistan in March 2002. At first, authorities believed that he was a high-level member of al-Qaida, however in recent official documents, they referred to him as a “facilitator” for the al-Qaida. He has been detained in Guantanamo since September 2006.