Lonetree Denied End to Solitary Confinement
Marine Sgt. Clayton Lonetree was denied release today from eight months of solitary confinement by the judge in his espionage court-martial, despite the insistence of the former Moscow embassy guard’s attorney.
Lawyers for Lonetree also vowed to fight what they say was an unprecedented decision to let an anonymous witness testify in connection with the so-called sex-for-secrets scandal that led to arrests of at least five embassy guards accused of having clandestine relations with Soviet women.
Lonetree is the only Marine now facing spy charges in the scandal.
His chief lawyer, William Kunstler, called “medieval” the eight-month detention of his client in solitary confinement at the Quantico Marine base brig near Washington.
But the presiding military judge, Navy Capt. Philip Roberts, denied Kunstler’s motion to end the solitary confinement, saying he had yet to see evidence that Lonetree was not an “escape risk.”
Detention to ‘Break Him’
Lonetree is confined to his room 23 of 24 hours a day, Kunstler said, adding that the detention is designed to “break him” and make him more “malleable.”
After a discussion with the prosecution and defense, Roberts agreed to review Lonetree’s confinement conditions.
During a morning recess, a man wearing a full Indian headdress held up a peace pipe, blew on a flute-like instrument, approached Lonetree and repeatedly tapped him on the back with a handful of feathers while chanting.
At the conclusion of the two-minute ritual, Kunstler acknowledged the gesture on behalf of his client, who is an American Indian.