Contacts:

Michael J. Ricciardelli
Legal Media Officer
Office: 973-642-8583
Cell: 908-447-3034
Email: michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu

Professor Mark P. Denbeaux
Director, Center for Policy and Research
Office: 973-642-8822
Cell: 201-214-6785
Email: mark.denbeaux@shu.edu

January 20, 2010

About Seton Hall Law


St. Louis Post-Dispatch Calls for Appointment of Special Prosecutor to Investigate GTMO Detainee Deaths

Citing reports by Seton Hall Law School’s Center for Policy & Research and an investigative exposé by Harper’s Magazine, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has called for the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to fully investigate the “supposed suicides” of three detainees at the Guantánamo Bay Detention Center in 2006. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch called for further investigation into other events following the deaths, including the “military cover story,” which the Post-Dispatch says “strains credulity,” and the subsequent inquiry by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), which the Post-Dispatch described as seeming “to have been pursued with either inexcusable incompetence or using a massive cover-up.”

Seton Hall Law Professor and Director of the Center for Policy and Research, Mark P. Denbeaux, stated, “We agree with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A full and independent investigation must be initiated and pursued. With the revelations detailed in the Harpers article, it now appears that the leaders of Guantánamo produced false statements about the deaths of three detainees, and those falsehoods were later rubber-stamped by NCIS. It is time for a full and independent investigation to uncover the total truth.”

The Harper’s article and the accounts of the four guards on duty the night of the detainee deaths are consistent with the Center’s findings in its report, Death in Camp Delta. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch cites to “Evidence from military guards that the victims may have been transported to another location prior to their ‘discovery,’ and that the events leading to their deaths may have occurred at a ‘black site’— a secret facility used to conduct ‘enhanced’ interrogation.”

Professor Denbeaux remarked, “This evidence is consistent with our findings and fills in a number gaps in the NCIS record. Sergeant Hickman and the other Guantanamo guards courageous enough to come forward and tell the truth present a chilling picture.”

Death in Camp Delta is the Center’s 15th Guantánamo Report; previous reports have been introduced into the Congressional Record by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, and as part of a Resolution by the European Parliament. The Guantanamo reports have also been cited by media throughout the world. Death in Camp Delta and all previous reports may be found at http://law.shu.edu and will be included in the Guantánamo Archives, a joint project between Seton Hall Law School and New York University to document, preserve, and make accessible the legal records and the human stories of the Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp.

Seton Hall University School of Law, New Jersey’s only private law school, and a leading law school in the New York metropolitan area, is dedicated to preparing students for the practice of law through excellence in scholarship and teaching, with a strong focus on clinical education. The Center for Policy and Research enables students to gain practical experience while engaging in research and analysis that promotes respect for the rights of individuals worldwide. The students examine primary sources pertaining to national security law and practices of the U.S. government, as well as the reliability of forensic evidence for criminal investigations and prosecution. Seton Hall Law is located in Newark, NJ and offers both day and evening degree programs. For more information, visit http://law.shu.edu.