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Guantanamo Bay military tribunals resume pre-trial hearings

[JURIST] The US military commissions [DOD backgrounder; JURIST news archive] at Guantanamo Bay are scheduled to resume proceedings Tuesday, with pre-trial hearings scheduled for four prisoners facing terrorism-related charges. Among those scheduled to appear is Binyam Muhammad [charge sheet, PDF], an Ethiopian man who has been charged with conspiring with Jose Padilla [JURIST news archive] as part of the dirty-bomb plot. Muhammad has argued that his confessions to a Padilla link were coerced while he was tortured in a Moroccan prison. Hearings are also scheduled for Abdul Zahir, Ali Hamza al Bahlul, and Omar Khadr [JURIST news archive], a Canadian teenager accused of a grenade attack on a US medic in Afghanistan. The military commissions were created to try detainees at Guantanamo, but only ten currently face charges.

The US Supreme Court heard arguments [JURIST report] last month in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld [Duke Law backgrounder], a case challenging the legality of the commissions, with a ruling expected sometime in June. Military officials at the commissions are hoping to complete pre-trial proceedings so that trials can begin following a favorable Supreme Court ruling. Reuters has more.

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