Military judge grants further delay in Guantanamo trial

[JURIST] A US military judge on Wednesday granted a government request to further postpone hearings for Saudi Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al Darbi [DOD materials]. Chief judge for military commissions Colonel James Pohl set a January 11, 2010 date [Miami Herald report] for a hearing on which statements would be admissible at trial. Darbi claims that statements he made while detained, first at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and later at Guantanamo Bay, were elicited through torture and therefore should be excluded from the case against him. In May, Pohl granted [JURIST report] the government's motion for a continuance until September 24, following a previously granted continuance [ruling, PDF] in February. Darbi is accused of plotting an attack that never took place on a ship in the Strait of Hormuz and training at an al Qaeda camp. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Darbi's case is one of six active military commission proceedings at Guantanamo. The government has also sought delays in the other cases. Earlier this week, Judge Stephen Henley granted [JURIST report] the government's request for a 60-day continuance [JURIST report] in the trial of five Guantanamo detainees accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks [JURIST news archive]. This is the government's third continuance in that case as well, having been granted 120-day continuances in January and May [JURIST reports]. Pentagon prosecutors said Attorney General Eric Holder will decide by November 16 [Miami Herald report] whether to continue the military commission proceeding or to transfer the case to federal court.

 

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