Suspects at the centre of a French terrorism trial arrived at court amid accusations that France’s own secret service interrogated them illegally while being held in Guantanamo bay.
The daily newpaper, Liberation has published a French diplomatic telex referring to intelligence agents conducting interviews at least twice while the six men were held without charge in the controversial detention centre.
One of the mens’ defence lawyers said:
“This evidence has cast an absolute veil of hypocrisy over the whole legal procedure. There is evidence of cheating and lying to a serious degree”.
France has already ruled that detaining suspects at the US base was illegal. Failure to declare information gleaned from secret interviews would be a breach of the defendants’ rights.
The French foreign affairs ministry has dismissed claims that the men were interrogated but did say they received normal consular visits.
The men are accused of having al Qaeda links and of being a threat to security- accusations which they deny.