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Friday, January 20, 2006

US charges tenth Guantanamo detainee
Jaime Jansen at 5:00 PM ET

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense [official website] announced Friday that it has brought charges [charge sheet; DOD press release] against a tenth Guantanamo Bay detainee. Abdul Zahir has been formally charged with conspiracy, aiding the enemy and attacking civilians, and is accused of working as a translator and money-man for former Taliban rulers in Afghanistan and with al Qaeda. The accusations also implicate Zahir in a 2002 grenade attack that injured three journalists. The DOD charged five other detainees [JURIST report] in November and the first four in 2004, but none of their trials under a tribunal of US military officers has been completed. The US Supreme Court is expected to hear a challenge [JURIST report] from Salim Ahmed Hamdan against President Bush’s power to create such military tribunals [JURIST news archive] to put Guantanamo prisoners on trial for war crimes. Pentagon officials said that only 50 to 75 of the approximately 500 Guantanamo detainees are likely to be charged because the DOD will only charge detainees whose actions rose to the level of war crimes. Aside from the ten detainees already charged, President Bush has declared four other detainees eligible for trial under the military tribunal. Reuters has more.

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