Gitmo Translator Ordered Held Until Trial

A former Guantanamo Bay (search) translator arrested last fall with secret documents in his luggage was ordered held without bail until his trial.

Ahmed Fathy Mehalba (search), an Egyptian-born U.S. citizen, has "no incentive" to remain in the country and if released on bail would probably flee to Egypt, where his parents live, the judge concluded.

The decision by U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Swartwood III was dated Friday and released Wednesday.

Mehalba, 31, was arrested at Boston's Logan International Airport (search) on Sept. 29 after returning from Egypt. Customs agents found 132 compact discs in his luggage, including one that contained hundreds of documents labeled "SECRET."

Mehalba has pleaded innocent to charges of gathering, transmitting or losing defense information and making false statements. Prosecutors say he lied to federal investigators when he told them he was not carrying any government documents from Guantanamo Bay.

The maximum prison term on the defense information charge is 10 years, and the maximum term on each false statement charge is five years.