Lawyers for a longtime Guantánamo detainee are seeking a specialized medical evaluation, saying that he was mentally ill long before his detention and that his psychological condition has deteriorated after years of imprisonment and interrogation.
Attorneys for Mohammed Qahtani argued Thursday in federal court in Washington that Qahtani should be subject to a Mixed Medical Commission, a special tribunal that would determine if his psychological problems merit repatriation to Saudi Arabia.
U.S. officials believe Qahtani was meant to be involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, but he was denied entry at Orlando International Airport a month earlier. He was captured by the Pakistani army at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in the fall of 2001.
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Qahtani has a history of mental illness and was involuntarily committed by Saudi authorities in May 2000.