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Charges Dropped in Guantanamo Terror Trial

By VOA News
06 February 2009

Pentagon officials say a U.S. military judge has dropped charges against a Guantanamo Bay detainee accused of participating in the deadly 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen.

A Pentagon spokesman told reporters late Thursday that the judge withdrew the charges against Saudi suspect Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri without prejudice. He said that means the charges could be refiled later.

U.S. President Barack Obama had asked for all legal proceedings at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to be suspended as part of his plan to close the controversial prison within a year. Mr. Obama has ordered a review of all 245 detainees at the center to decide how to prosecute those who may have committed crimes.

Al-Nashiri is accused of working with al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden to organize and carry out the attack on a U.S. Navy destroyer that killed 17 U.S. sailors.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, has admitted interrogators used harsh techniques on the Saudi citizen of Yemeni descent. Al-Nashiri says he confessed to the involvement in the Cole attack to get them to stop.

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



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