The Saudi Arabian has been held at the U.S. military prison since 2006 after being held in a series of secret CIA prisons. He is being accused of orchestrating the Oct. 12, 2000, bombing of the USS Cole in the port of Aden in Yemen.

Little information about what happened in the CIA black sites has ever been confirmed by the government, the Associated Press notes, and the order by Pohl still “does not make any details available to the public,” as all parties have been explicitly required to follow a protective order barring release of classified information.

The rules for military commissions bars prosecutors from using any evidence or testimony obtained by coercion or torture. Al-Nashiri’s defense makes the case that “all information from al-Nashiri is tainted by the harsh treatment he endured at the hands of the CIA,” and that by disclosing the details of his detention, he may be spared from the death penalty.

The Pohl ruling “represents a chink in the armor of secrecy that the U.S. government erected around its torture program,” said Andrea Prasow of Human Rights Watch, following last week’s leak.

Along with the partial declassification of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture methods, Prasow adds that “it is only a matter of time before the public will learn the horrific details of officially sanctioned torture, and the pattern of lies designed not only to allow torture to continue, but to immunize torturers from prosecution.”

Al-Nashiri’s trial is scheduled for December.


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