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thedrifter
01-18-07, 11:22 AM
Ex-Guantanamo Navy officer arraigned on charges of passing secrets

By: Associated Press -

NORFOLK, Va. -- A Navy lawyer charged with passing secret information about Guantanamo Bay detainees to an unauthorized person was arraigned Wednesday in military court.

Lt. Cmdr. Matthew M. Diaz, who was stationed at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay from July 2004 until January 2005, could face more than 36 years in prison if convicted.

Diaz did not enter a plea during the brief hearing at Norfolk Naval Station, Navy spokesman Kevin Copeland said. No trial date has been set.

Diaz, 41, of Topeka, Kan., is charged with failing to obey the rules, conduct unbecoming an officer and turning over classified documents related to national defense to an unauthorized person.

The Navy has said the recipient notified authorities. The Navy has declined to identify that person.

The complaint against Diaz does not specify what type of information he is accused of copying and transmitting, but a Navy spokeswoman has described it as a document containing names and other identifying information about Guantanamo detainees.

Since 2002, the U.S. military has held foreign citizens suspected of terrorist ties at a detention center at the base in Cuba. Diaz provided counsel to the military command in charge of the detention center but was not involved in detainees' cases, the Navy says.

Diaz remains free and is stationed in Jacksonville, Fla.

Ellie