'Ahmed Fathy Mehalba was a DOD civilian translator/ interrogator who was accused of lying to government agents and removing classified documents from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
Childhood and emigration to United StatesEdit
Born in Egypt, Mehalba emigrated to the United States and became a naturalized citizen. Mehalba received a medical discharge from the Army in May 2001 and was later hired a San Diego defense contractor, Titan Corporation, to be an Arabic-English translator at Guantanamo Bay.
Arrest at Logan AirportEdit
In 2003, Mehalba was assigned as a civilian interpreter/ interrogator at Guantanamo. He was arrested on September 29, 2003, at Boston Logan Airport. Mehalba had flown into Logan through Italy from Cairo, Egypt. On a routine admission through U.S. customs, Mehalba presented a U.S. passport and a US military identification card. When asked about some computer CDs, he said that they contained only music and videos he had made while in Egypt. One CD was labeled secret. Mehalba told inspectors that he did not have any official U.S. government documents.
Charges against MehelbaEdit
Mehelba was one of four people accused of security breaches at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The others were Air Force enlisted Senior Airman Ahmad, Army Captain and Muslim Chaplain James Yee, and Army Colonel Jack Farr.
Conviction and sentenceEdit
On January 10, 2005, Mehalba pleaded guilty to lying to governments agents and removing classified documents. On February 18, 2005, Mehalba was sentenced to 20 months in prison, with credit for 17 months, time served. He was released in March, 2005.
- Finer, Jonathan Interpreter Pleads Guilty to Taking Data Washington Post, (January 11, 2005)
- CNN Court-martial begins for ex-Gitmo interpreter
- Former Civilian Translator Sentenced to 20 Months Rantburg (February 18, 2005)
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