The military judge presiding over the Sept. 11 war crimes proceedings at Guantanamo Bay said in a ruling this week that he will eventually lift his order prohibiting female guards from having physical contact with the five defendants while transporting them around the U.S. base in Cuba.

But Army Col. James Pohl also said he would keep the ban in place for six more months, according to the order, which was disclosed to The Associated Press on Friday. That is because of what he calls "inappropriate" public criticism of his ban by Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during an October appearance before Congress.

Pohl said in his 39-page ruling that the "disparaging" comments by Carter and Dunford could be viewed as creating the appearance that they were trying to influence the death penalty military commission for the five men accused of planning and aiding the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.

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