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Pentagon seeking reconsideration of Guantanamo dismissals

[JURIST] A Pentagon spokesman said Friday that the it will seek a reconsideration of rulings by two US military judges earlier this week dismissing all charges against Canadian detainee Omar Khadr and Yemeni detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan [JURIST reports]. Both judges found that the detainees could not be tried as "unlawful enemy combatants" under the Military Commission Act of 2006 (MCA) [PDF text] because both were simply designated "enemy combatants" by Combatant Status Review Tribunals [DOD materials] at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Military prosecutors will only appeal the dismissals to the Court of Military Commissions Review, just established this week after the surprise Monday dismissals, if they fail to persuade the judges in the original case that there is no material difference between the two designations. The legal distinction between "enemy combatant" and "unlawful enemy combatant" is arguably material because lawful enemy combatants are afforded prisoner-of-war status under Third Geneva Convention [text].

DOD has so far filed revised charges against only 3 of the approximately 385 detainees held at Guantanamo. In March, Australian David Hicks [JURIST news archive], the first detainee to be charged under the MCA, pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to a one count of supporting terrorism. AP has more.

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