CHARLES WILSON,Associated Press
1:19 PM EDT, August 30, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The former warden of the federal prison that houses American-born Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh says the facility can't afford to accommodate daily group prayers for Muslim inmates.
Charles Lockett testified Thursday in federal court in Indianapolis that the prison would have to hire 84 chaplains to provide daily prayers for all inmates. He says that would cost $8.4 million a year.
Lockett says providing accommodations for only some inmates would foster dissent at the Terre Haute, Ind., facility.
Lindh says the policy in the tightly controlled unit where he's held violates his religious rights. The government says the restrictions are necessary for security.
The trial in Lindh's civil lawsuit began Monday.
Lindh pleaded guilty in 2002 to supplying services to the now-defunct Taliban government and carrying explosives for them.