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Military trials set for Canadian, Yemeni Guantanamo detainees

[JURIST] The Pentagon announced Tuesday that military commission trials for two foreign Guantanamo prisoners will begin with plea hearings on January 10 at the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST archive] detention facility without waiting for the US Supreme Court to decide the legality of such tribunals. The Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld [Duke Law backgrounder; JURIST report], where it will decide whether the president has the power to authorize military commissions for foreign citizens in the war on terror. The two detainees whose trials have been scheduled are Canadian Omar Ahmed Kadhr, charged [Pentagon charge sheet, PDF] last month with murder, and Yemeni Ali Hamza Ahmed Sulayman al Bahlul, charged [Pentagon charge sheet, PDF] in 2004 with conspiracy. The charges were approved [DoD press release] by the Department of Defense early last month. Nine Guantanamo Bay detainees have so far been charged with war crimes ; the trials of three other charged detainees, including David Hicks [JURIST report], are currently under judicial stay until the resolution of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. Reuters has more.

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