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Bush Likely to Pursue Gitmo Trials

Posted Jun 7, 2007 12:15 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The Bush administration is likely to fix rather than abandon trials for terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Legal analysts told the Los Angeles Times there is no viable alternative because much of the evidence would be inadmissible in the regular court system.

Many of the detainees were picked up on the battlefield, “and a battlefield is different from a crime scene," Pepperdine law professor Douglas W. Kmiec told the newspaper.

Other problems involve high-level terrorists held and questioned in secret CIA prisons. Evidence obtained under such circumstances would likely be excluded in U.S. courts.

"These people cannot be convicted in the criminal justice system," said Washington, D.C., lawyer David B. Rivkin Jr., a former official in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. "There would be insurmountable problems."

Military judges dismissed the cases against two detainees on Monday because they had not been properly classified as “unlawful enemy combatants.”

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