Accused U.S. embassy bomber Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani claims visual body searches by the Bureau of Prisons are triggering post-traumatic stress reactions to his interrogation by the CIA following his 2004 capture. Ghailani is set to appear before Southern District of New York Judge Lewis A. Kaplan at 9:30 this morning for a hearing on a defense request that the searches be stopped because they might set off a reaction that renders the suspect “unable to function in a courtroom.” Lawyers for Ghailani, who is accused in an al-Qaida conspiracy that included the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, claim he was tortured by the CIA.
Katherine A. Porterfield, a psychologist hired by the defense, was initially scheduled to testify at the hearing, but when she became unavailable, the defense sought a postponement, arguing that bringing Ghailani to court without first hearing from her would create the very problem they are seeking to avoid.
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