US officials: Guantanamo Bay court system likely to stay open

May 2, 2009 23:11

The Obama administration may revamp and restart the Bush-era military trial system for suspected terrorists as it struggles to determine the fate of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay and fulfill a pledge to close the prison by January. The move would further delay terrorism trials and, coupled with recent comments by US military and legal officials, amounts to a public admission by US President Barack Obama's team that delivering on that promise is easier said than done. Almost immediately after taking office, Obama suspended the tribunal system and ordered a 120-day review of the cases against the 241 men being held at the Navy prison in Cuba. That review was supposed to end May 20. But two US officials said Saturday the administration wants a three-month extension. The delay means that legal action on the detainees' cases would continue to be frozen. Neither of the US officials were authorized to discuss the delay publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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