Abu Zubaydah case: Supreme Court blocks torture testimony sought by terrorism suspect

Abu Zubaydah, who the government says is a former associate of Osama bin Laden, was subject to “enhanced interrogation techniques” in a CIA detention center abroad and is now being held in Guantanamo Bay.

His lawyers want to use the information to hold Polish officials accountable for what Zubaydah says was his unlawful detention and torture in a CIA facility in Stare Kiejkuty, Poland.

The court’s opinion could restrict access to materials, discovery or testimony in future cases that the government claims should be protected by a so-called “states secret” privilege meant to protect national security.

“Today’s ruling will make it much harder, going forward, for victims of government misconduct that occurs in secret to obtain evidence helping to prove that the conduct was unlawful,” said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

“Although this case, specifically, is a narrow dispute about specific evidence concerning the CIA’s alleged torture of Abu Zubaydah in Poland, it’s likely to have far broader and more troubling ramifications going forward.”

The Biden administration argued that it could block the testimony of the former government contractors even though some of the information Zubaydah seeks is already in the public realm.

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The case highlighted continuing terrorism concerns and examined the role courts play balancing national security interests against calls for greater transparency and government accountability.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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