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Alleged Terror Plotter Gets Hearing at Guantanamo

  • VOA News

The US Defense Department says it has held hearings at the Guantanamo Bay military prison for three of the most prominent terror suspects held there.

A Pentagon spokesman said a hearing Saturday reviewed the status of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, allegedly a major planner of the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The spokesman said a similar hearing was held Friday for Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, also alleged to have been involved in the September 11th attacks and for Abu Faraj al-Libi, an alleged senior al-Qaida figure.

Citing security concerns, the Defense Department has barred reporters from covering the tribunals for the three men who, along with 11 others were transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, last year from secret US prisons elsewhere.

Human rights and civil liberty groups, foreign governments and some US politicians have condemned the secrecy of the tribunals and the whole legal process at Guantanamo, saying detainees are not provided with sufficient rights or legal representation.

The Pentagon spokesman said at least one of the three detainees did not attend the hearings, and added that at least one more review tribunal is scheduled for Monday.

The hearings are to determine whether a terrorist suspect meets US authorities' definition of an enemy combatant, and can be kept in custody for another year.

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