Prosecutors Ask Judge to Strike Information Gained From Torture

WASHINGTON — Military prosecutors have asked to wipe from the record information gleaned from the torture of a detainee now held at Guantánamo Bay, reversing their earlier position that the information could be used in pretrial proceedings against the man.

By law, prosecutors in a military commission trial are forbidden to submit evidence derived from torture. But in May, the judge, Col. Lanny J. Acosta Jr., ruled that while juries could not see that type of evidence, judges could consider it in determining pretrial matters.

Biden administration lawyers were troubled by the decision because they would be expected to defend the use of such information before appeals courts. The ruling, the first known instance in which a military judge permitted prosecutors to use information gained through torture, also carries larger implications for all cases at Guantánamo.

The chief prosecutor at Guantánamo for a decade, Brig. Gen. Mark S. Martins, had cited a statement obtained through torture, clashing with senior administration officials who questioned his authority to do so. The dispute played a part in his unexpected decision to retire from the Army 15 months early, on Sept. 30.

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