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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:30 AM
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Defense: Prosecutors seek to pause Gitmo trials
Defense: Prosecutors seek to pause Gitmo trials
By Ben Fox - The Associated Press
Posted : Tuesday Jan 20, 2009 22:10:18 EST

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba Guantanamo prosecutors want to put the war crimes trials on hold while the future of the widely criticized tribunals remains in doubt, military defense lawyers said Tuesday.

Prosecutors want an indefinite continuance of all pending cases while President Barack Obamas administration reviews the military commissions system and the legal alternatives for prosecuting suspected terrorists, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, a military defense lawyer who represents a Canadian being tried before the tribunals.

Air Force Col. Peter Masciola, the chief defense counsel for the Guantanamo military commissions, said the chief prosecutor, Army Col. Lawrence Morris, called him to discuss the proposal. Defense lawyers oppose an indefinite stay and would challenge the motion if filed, fearing it is a bid to buy time to preserve the system.

Defense lawyers want to scrap the Guantanamo military commissions and have pending charges formally withdrawn without prejudice, which would allow authorities to refile them later in a traditional U.S. military court martial, a civilian court or a combination, Masciola said.

The military has charges pending against 21 men and officials had said they intended to charge dozens more.

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