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Detainee trials legislation 'imperative' by year's end: Warner

[JURIST] US Sen. John Warner (R-VA) said Thursday that the White House should propose detainee trials legislation soon after the return of senior officials from the G-8 summit [White House materials] hosted by Russia this month. In comments during a US Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing [witness list], Warner also stressed that it is "absolutely imperative" that legislation be passed by the end of the year. Warner said private conversations with National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley [official profile] showed that senior administration officials are conflicted on how the administration should proceed, given the US Supreme Court's holding in Hamdan that the military commissions [DOD materials] held at Guantanamo Bay as initially constituted violate both the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) [text] and the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials]. AP has more.

John McCain (R-AZ) meanwhile told reporters Thursday that administration officials had told him that the White House will not propose legislation aimed at creating solid legal footing for the current tribunal system, a strategy espoused by in the House Armed Services Committee during a Wednesday hearing [JURIST report; recorded audio], but rather will put forward a structure similar to the courts-martial system mandated by the UCMJ. McCain has previously suggested a framework based on the courts-martial system that would stop short of granting full legal rights to terror suspects. Reuters has more.

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