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Homeland Security

US Military Judge Suspends Guantanamo Trial of Canadian

By VOA News
21 January 2009

A U.S. military judge has suspended the trial of Canadian terror suspect Omar Khadr at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The move Wednesday comes after President Barack Obama directed prosecutors to ask for the Guantanamo trials to be suspended for 120 days. Mr. Obama made the request hours after taking office Tuesday.

The European Union has welcomed the move to suspend the military trials. In a statement, the EU Justice Commission said it was "very pleased" that one of Mr. Obama's first actions as president was "to turn the page on this sad episode."

A halt in legal proceedings will give the Obama administration time to review individual cases, as well as the entire military tribunal system.

The order would affect 21 pending cases, including cases against five men accused of plotting the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Mr. Obama has pledged to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, which has been the subject of controversy.

Critics say detainees at the facility, most of whom have been held for years without charge, are denied basic rights.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.

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