In first, Guantanamo inmate calls home to find a lawyer

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba — Within hours of a judge's order, an accused al Qaeda conspirator from Sudan got to call from home Thursday to consult with his family on how they might hire him a lawyer, at their own expense.

Ibrahim al Qosi, 47, had earlier fired his U.S. military lawyer and threatened to boycott his war crimes trial. He said he wanted to talk by telephone with his brother, presumably in Khartoum, to get the Sudanese Bar Association to line him up a defense lawyer instead.

In response, Air Force Lt. Col. Nancy Paul, a military judge, ordered lawyers to arrange the call through the International Committee of the Red Cross. She gave them until July 1. But commanders at the prison camp accomplished the assignment soon after the judge gaveled the court to a closure.

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CORRECTION: A military spokesman erred last week by telling journalists that an alleged al Qaeda conspirator at Guantánamo received a Red Cross-assisted telephone call from home. Ibrahim al Qosi of Sudan has not yet been able to talk to his relatives, said Navy Cmdr. Pauline Storum in an email clarification late Friday. Storum said she had misunderstood the information she was given.

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