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“We decided to undertake the representation because of the important constitutional principle at stake: the right of any individual detained within the jurisdiction and control of the U.S. government to have a fair hearing before a neutral judge to decide whether they should continue to be held indefinitely or should be charged, tried and, if convicted, punished,” Shearman lawyer Rohan S. Weerasinghe wrote.

Two other U.S. firms also have received funds from ICB: Arnold & Porter LLP and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

Arnold & Porter declined to comment for this article. The firm reported about $75,000 in fees from ICB during the first half of 2006 in Justice Department filings. It also has reported an additional $250,000 in fees in recent years in U.S. Senate lobbying reports.

Arnold & Porter has lobbied Congress, the Justice Department, the State Department and the Defense Department on “issues related to efforts to obtain due process for the Kuwaiti detainees in U.S. custody in Guantanamo Bay,” according to lobbying reports.

A third firm hired by the ICB, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, provided legal counsel in the recent Supreme Court case, Al Odah v. United States, which gave detainees the right to have their cases tried in U.S. courts. Through the last five months of last year and all of January, the firm reported more than $250,000 in fees and expenses from ICB, according to foreign-agent filings at the Justice Department.

Among the firm’s charges were meal and travel costs for two Pillsbury lawyers to go to Cuba in August 2007 to “meet with clients at Guantanamo Bay to discuss legal strategy regarding actions taken against the clients by the U.S. government,” according to the filings.

The firm also reported contacts with numerous major media outlets concerning detainee issues, including The Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, CBS News and Al Jazeera.

Pillsbury lawyer David J. Cynamon declined to respond to questions concerning ICB for this article, saying that “as an attorney, I cannot and will not comment on matters concerning client relationships.” In a Pillsbury news release after the Supreme Court decision, Mr. Cynamon called the ruling “a complete victory not only for our clients, but for all Americans and citizens the world over, and, most importantly, for the rule of law.”

Lawyers aren’t the only ones receiving fees from the ICB.

The Kuwait-based group also has financed a public relations campaign run by Levick Strategic Communications in Washington, making hundreds of e-mails and telephone calls to reporters at dozens of media outlets across the country, including The Washington Times.

According to Justice Department filings, the firm - which also has represented the Executive Office of Dubai - contacts media outlets to “generate support for adherence to the June 2003 and June 2006 decision by the Supreme Court with regard to due process for the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay.”

The firm also reported contacts with the American Civil Liberties Union earlier this year for “possible collaboration on the orange-ribbon movement to shut down Guantanamo,” according to Justice Department filings.

Levick Senior Vice President Gene Grabowski, a former reporter for The Washington Times, said the public-relations firm wasn’t working to free the detainees, but rather to focus public attention on why the men should be given a fair trial in U.S. courts.

“We were engaged to make the case … give them a real trial. It was never about freedom,” Mr. Grabowski said. “If they’re found guilty, they should be punished. We’re not arguing for their blanket freedom.”

Still, Richard Levick, who founded Levick, noted in a December 2005 article for an online trade publication,, “To date, six of the detainees have been set free, and the legal and public relations teams continue to coordinate efforts to help free the remaining six.”

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