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US charges five more Guantanamo detainees with war crimes

[JURIST] The Pentagon Monday charged five more Guantanamo Bay detainees - two Saudis, an Algerian, an Ethiopian and a Canadian - with war crimes, bringing to nine the number of detainees charged out of some 500 held at the Cuba naval station. The announcement from the US Defense Department came on the heels of word from the US Supreme Court that it would hear a appeal [JURIST report] from previously-charged detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan against the legality of the military commission process [JURIST news archive], which the Pentagon insists is fair but which does not provide defendants with protections equivalent to either US civilian courts or military courts trying POWs. The charges [US DOD chargesheets] against the five detainees announced Monday range from conspiracy to commit murder, attacking innocent civilians, destruction of property, general terrorism and (in the case of Canadian Omar Khadr [JURIST report], a teenager accused of killing a US soldier in Afghanistan) aiding the enemy. Lawyers for Khadr claimed earlier this year that he had been tortured and abused by US interrogators [JURIST report]. Read the DOD press release on the charges. Also Monday, Appointing Authority John D. Altenburg Jr. [official profile] lifted a stay in the case of previously-charged Ali Hamza Ahmad Sulayman al Bahlul, clearing the way for his trial although no date has yet been set. Reuters has more.

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