U.S. Ready to Try Guantanamo Detainees

IMPORTANT: The full content of this page is available to premium users only.

Tuesday, July 1, 2003
Bruce Zagaris
On May 2, 2003, U.S. military officials announced their readiness to try Guantanamo Bay detainees once President George Bush approves. Meanwhile, foreign governments and human rights groups have pressed the U.S. Government to take action to try or release detainees. While military officials refused to release the names on the list or disclose how many detainees they are considering for trail, it is expected that only a few of them will stand trial before tribunals. Such proceedings will probably take place at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the detainees are held. In November 2001, President Bush ordered the Defense Department to start planning to try some al Qaeda terrorists before military tribunals. The Defense Department has revised trial guidelines, which were released on May 2, 2003. Some prosecutions may occur in the next few months. Military officials will decide on whom to try based on the evidence gathered, including interrogations of detainees in Cuba and overseas, sized terrorist documents and intercepted communication.