A federal judge has ordered a psychiatric examination of accused U.S. Embassy bomber Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani to see if he is competent to stand trial. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan directed that he receive a report on Ghailani by June 21 on whether he is suffering from a mental disease or defect that renders him incompetent to the extent he is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to assist in his defense.
The judge said the psychiatrist’s report also should address whether the defendant “is competent to waive his right to be present at the trial of this matter and any right he may have to be present at other phases of this case.” Ghailani has waived, and intends to waive, his right to be present at pretrial proceedings and his trial because he objects to strip searches conducted by officers at the Metropolitan Correctional Center. Lawyers for Ghailani, the first Guantanamo Bay detainee to be moved to the civilian justice system, allege he suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome stemming from the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, which they call torture, that were used by the CIA following Ghailani’s 2004 capture in Pakistan.
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