Guantanamo judge lifts rule prohibiting 9/11 defendants from discussing CIA treatment

Defense lawyers in the Sept. 11 war crimes case at Guantanamo are praising a judge's decision to ease restrictions on what defendants can say about their treatment in CIA custody.

Attorney James Connell says a new protective order in the case eliminates a ban on public statements about their CIA confinement. He says that may allow the five men charged in the Sept. 11 attacks to ask human rights groups to investigate treatment they say amounted to torture.

Prosecutors sought restrictions on what the defendants could disclose to protect classified information. But the judge ruled the defendants have no duty to protect classified information they may have acquired through their own experiences.

The ruling came Monday at the start of a weeklong pretrial hearing at the U.S. base in Cuba.