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    In this 2009 file photo, reviewed by the U.S. military, an American flag fluttering in the wind is pictured through a broken window from inside an airplane hangar used for media activities at Camp Justice, the site of the U.S. war crimes tribunal compound, at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba, July 16, 2009

    US Military Court Must Allow Expert to Investigate Toxins Found at Gitmo

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    Camp Justice at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba should be examined by independent expers after a US Navy report revealed earlier that high levels of toxins are present on the site, according to attorney Michael Schwartz.

    GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE (Sputnik), Joanne Stocker — The US military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba must allow an investigation into whether there are dangerous levels of carcinogens in Camp Justice where the trial against the alleged September 11, 2001 terror attacks’ plotters is being held, a lawyer for one of the defendants stated during a pretrial hearing on Wednesday.

    Attorney Michael Schwartz told Judge James Pohl that funding should be made available for an independent expert to examine Camp Justice after a US Navy report revealed earlier that high levels of toxins are present on the site.

    "It comes down to this: I’m not comfortable being in this room, and I’m not comfortable bringing a team of typically 12-15 people and asking them to be here on behalf of my role as a defense attorney and on behalf of [defendant Walid] bin Attesh," Schwartz stated.

    The US Department of Defense began investigating toxins at Camp Justice in 2015 after seven current and former employees were diagnosed with cancer, which was fatal in three cases.

    The Navy found arsenic, mercury and other carcinogens called benzo(a)pyrene and polychlorinated biphenyls in initial samples, according to an internal report published in February.

    Schwartz noted that the Navy said in the report it could not determine if the conditions at Camp Justice were safe until more tests are conducted.

    According to media reports, the toxins may be due to years of the US military dumping jet fuel on the site that was previously used as an airstrip.


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