Listening device confirmed at 9/11 hearing

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GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — The military had a hidden microphone in a room where defense attorneys met detainees awaiting death-penalty trials, a senior prison official disclosed at the war court Tuesday.

But nobody was using it to listen in on the confidential conversations prisoners have with their lawyers or the Red Cross, Navy Capt. Thomas Welsh, the prison camps’ chief staff attorney testified.

Welsh said he discovered the eavesdropping capability in January 2012, after eight months on the job at Guantanamo, by spotting a “law enforcement official” listening in on a meeting between a detainee, prosecutor and defense lawyers. They were discussing a possible plea deal inside Camp Echo, a compound of huts.

Defense lawyers say they got repeated assurances since taking up these death-penalty cases that their attorney-client privilege was being honored, that nobody was listening in on their conversations.

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