Bismullah ‘enemy combatant’ status to be reviewed in light of ‘new evidence’

Bismullah ‘enemy combatant’ status to be reviewed in light of ‘new evidence’

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice indicated Thursday that the Pentagon will review the "enemy combatant" status of Afghan Guantanamo detainee and US federal court litigant Haji Bismullah [JURIST news archives] in light of what was referred to as "new evidence," according to SCOTUSblog. The notification came in a motion [PDF text] asking the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] to remand his federal court case to the Pentagon or hold it in abeyance. Last July, a three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled [PDF text; JURIST report] that federal appeals courts reviewing enemy combatant designations under the Detainee Treatment Act [text] must review all evidence regarding that detainee, rejecting the government's argument [JURIST report] that it should only have to turn over the same evidence as presented to a detainee's Combatant Status Review Tribunal [DOD materials]. The government has appealed to the US Supreme Court, which has not yet ruled on the certiorari petition in the case. SCOTUSblog has more.

The future of Gates v. Bismullah may be affected by a ruling in Boumediene v. Bush (06-1195) [docket; merit briefs], another case on appeal from the DC Circuit already pending [JURIST report] before the Supreme Court. In Boumediene, the Court is considering whether Guantanamo detainees should be allowed to challenge their detentions in federal court.