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Lindh's lawyers seek to bar statements

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 15, 2002

Attorneys for John Walker Lindh charged Friday that U.S. military personnel threatened to shoot or hang him after his capture last fall and that he waived his right to legal counsel because he was told there were no lawyers in Afghanistan who could help him.

The defense team also sought to explain why Lindh did not cooperate with CIA Agent Johnny Michael Spann and warn him that his life was in danger shortly before Spann was killed in a prison revolt. Lindh, his lawyers said, assumed that Spann and another CIA agent were working for the Northern Alliance and that Taliban soldiers like himself would be tortured.

Defense lawyers made their assertions in nearly 250 pages of court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., where they are asking a federal judge to rule that none of the statements their client made to authorities should be admissible at his trial in August.

Recovery workers start search at Deutsche Bank

NEW YORK -- The city reached an agreement with Deutsche Bank on Friday to give recovery workers immediate access to a badly damaged building that could contain the last human remains from the World Trade Center attack.

Firefighters began searching the building, across the street from where the south tower once stood, Friday night.

Last week, the remains of about a dozen people were found in two other buildings near ground zero that were damaged in the Sept. 11 attacks. City officials hope to find remains in the Deutsche Bank building.

No symptoms of chemical exposure seen so far

BAGRAM, Afghanistan -- Health officials questioned all U.S. troops at a base in Uzbekistan and found no symptoms of exposure to nerve or other chemical weapons, an Army spokesman said Friday. Traces of the substance were found on base a week ago.

While no medical tests have been performed, some 1,200 personnel at Khanabad air base were questioned and their files were examined, said U.S. Army Col. Roger King.

Officials will now survey the records of at least 1,800 other servicemen who passed through the base since American forces first were deployed there in October to support the campaign in neighboring Afghanistan, King said.

Charter flight passengers would require screening

WASHINGTON -- Travelers on large, privately chartered jets would have to go through the same security screening as other airline passengers under a rule proposed by the Transportation Security Administration.

The proposal marks the first time the government would impose security requirements on the private charters, which have become more popular since Sept. 11 as passengers try to avoid long lines at airport checkpoints.

Private charters are those flights where a person or company rents an airplane, invites all its passengers and does not advertise the flight to the public, such as those used by sports teams. Charter operators have said security screening isn't necessary, because everyone on a charter flight knows everyone else.

Also . . .

DETAINEES: The United States is still holding at least 147 people rounded up as part of the investigation into the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and 18 are not represented by lawyers, the Justice Department said Friday, responding to a court order requesting the figures.

TERROR INQUIRY: The directors of the CIA and the FBI are to face questioning by lawmakers next week about what their agencies knew of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network before Sept. 11 and why they didn't share information.

George Tenet of the CIA and FBI chief Robert Mueller are to appear Tuesday and Wednesday before a joint session of the House and Senate intelligence committees.

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