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US to Suspend Terror Proceedings Against Britons Held in Guantanamo
VOA News
18 Jul 2003, 19:33 UTC

The United States is suspending legal proceedings against British terror suspects held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The White House has confirmed an earlier British announcement that the suspension will last until legal experts from the two countries hold talks on the detainees' status.

Several British citizens are among the several hundred detainees being held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Most were arrested in South Asia in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States and the subsequent U.S. led war in Afghanistan. Two Britons are among six detainees listed as likely to be the first tried by military tribunal.

Various rights organizations have criticized the detentions on legal and humanitarian grounds as well as the planned use of military tribunals. Britain along with other nations have called for their citizens to be returned to their home countries for interrogation.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair raised the issue of the British detainees during his talks with President Bush on Thursday. During his visit, Mr. Blair also staunchly defended the the U.S. and British decision to wage war in Iraq.

The White House continues to counter criticism about its use of pre-war intelligence in making the case for war. The Bush administration released Friday, part of last October's National Intelligence Assessment. The report argues there was compelling evidence that the government of Saddam Hussein was trying to rebuild its nuclear weapons program. The report said that if left unchecked, Iraq probably would have a nuclear weapon during this decade.

Some information for this report provided by AP.



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