Guantanamo lawyers say US probe led to conflict of interest

A US government investigation of attorneys for accused al Qaeda militants held at the military's Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba created a conflict of interest for the lawyers in representing their clients, the attorneys said on Sunday.

The dispute during a military court hearing threatened further delays in trials for the alleged conspirators, which have dragged on for nine years.

A Justice Department attorney said during the hearing that the defense attorneys were cleared of criminal allegations by the year-and-a-half investigation.

The hearing at the Guantanamo Bay facility was monitored by Reuters over closed-circuit television from a media center at Fort Meade, Maryland.