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Federal judge stays Guantanamo military commission trial of Saudi terror suspect

[JURIST] A federal judge Friday stayed the military commission trial of a Saudi Arabian man who has been held at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] since 2002 for allegedly plotting with members of al Qaeda to build car bomb detonators in Pakistan and send them to Afghanistan. US District Judge Emmett Sullivan [official profile] froze the trial of Ghassan Abdullah al Sharbi [Wikipedia profile] to wait for a ruling [JURIST report] by the US Supreme Court [official website] on whether the military commissions [JURIST news archive] authorized by President Bush are constitutional. The Supreme Court will decide the issue based a case brought by a former driver for Osama bin Laden in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld [Duke Law backgrounder; JURIST report].

Judge Sullivan said waiting for the Supreme Court's decision will not cause any prejudice to the US Justice Department [official website] in prosecuting their case against Sharbi since the high court is expected to hand down its decision in the next month. Sharbi has admitted fighting against the US, but denies that he is guilty of any war crimes [JURIST report], and is the fourth terrorism suspect to win a stay out of ten Guantanamo prisoners facing military commissions. The Miami Herald has more.

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