Lawyer, Detainee Haven't
Met Despite Court Ruling
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- A month after the Supreme Court said people held as enemy combatants may challenge their detention, a defense lawyer is still trying to meet with a man who has been held for more than a year at the Charleston Naval Consolidated Brig.
Lawyer Andy Savage filed a motion in federal court last week demanding to see Ali Seleh Marri, a native of Qatar who has been held without access to family, friends or attorneys. Citing the Supreme Court decision, Marri's attorneys had asked Assistant Solicitor General David Salmons earlier this month about seeing their client and were told that the government still could not allow him to see a lawyer, according to the motion.
Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the Justice Department, declined to comment.
In December 2001, federal agents searched Marri's apartment in Illinois and allegedly found a computer with lectures by Osama bin Laden, bookmarked Web sites about industrial chemicals and hundreds of credit-card numbers. The government alleged that Marri, who was studying at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., was a sleeper-cell operative and that calls were made from his cell-phone number to an al Qaeda lieutenant who sent money to the Sept. 11 hijackers.
He was charged with credit-card and bank fraud. Marri was allowed to see his attorney and was supposed to go to trial last year, but prosecutors dropped the charges and the government designated him an enemy combatant.
* HARTFORD, Conn. -- The FBI rescinded the health benefits that it mistakenly gave to the same-sex partner of an agent after the couple wed in Massachusetts. Katy Gossman, an agent with the FBI in New Haven, received an e-mail from the bureau informing her that her wife, Kristin, would be removed from her health plan. The FBI said the approval had been a mistake, noting that the federal government does not allow same-sex spousal benefits.
* SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Donald Smith, who married Arthur Henneberger, his partner of 23 years, after gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts, has been denied a passport changing his last name to Henneberger. In a letter, the National Passport Center cited the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which states that a marriage can only be between a man and a woman, and that "spouse" can only refer to a person of the opposite sex.
* DENVER -- The judge in the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case indicated that he wants to settle a First Amendment fight with the news media by releasing some details from a closed-door hearing on the accuser's sex life and other potential evidence. Prodded by the Supreme Court, District Judge Terry Ruckriegle ordered prosecutors and defense attorneys to work on proposed deletions in the transcripts from the June 21 to 22 hearing. Copies were mistakenly e-mailed to seven news organizations by a court reporter last month, prompting a contempt of court threat from the judge for anyone who releases the details. No organization has published the contents, but the media groups challenged Ruckriegle's order as an unconstitutional restraint on a free press. Late Monday, Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer rejected a media request to overturn the order, but he said the situation could be resolved by the transcripts' release.
-- From News Services