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Newport News Is Possible Site for Trials of Guantanamo Detainees

Posted Aug 14, 2009 6:35 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia are competing to prosecute accused high-profile terrorists housed at Guantanamo, but local leaders in Alexandria, Va., have opposed the proposed site there.

Now a new contender for the trials has emerged: a high-security courthouse in Newport News, Va., that opened last year, the Washington Post reports.

Law enforcement sources told the publication that the U.S. Marshals Service is drawing up security plans for possible trials at the Newport News courthouse. The building was built according to new safety requirements that include blast-resistant walls and is located in a semi-industrial area. The Alexandria courthouse, on the other hand, is near hotels, restaurants and swanky apartments.

However, the Alexandria courthouse is still in the running, along with courthouses in Richmond and Norfolk.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Alexandria are both likely to handle some of the cases, Justice Department officials have said, along with federal prosecutors in Washington and Brooklyn. All four offices are reviewing detainees the files of about 30 detainees, the story says.

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