RealNews

Tribunals Nearly Ready for Afghanistan Prisoners

After nearly 18 months of planning, the Pentagon is at last ready to put in place its system of military tribunals to try people captured in the war in Afghanistan, officials and lawyers outside the government say. The officials and lawyers said the military would, in the next few weeks, complete work on the structure of the first tribunal, the final list of crimes that could be prosecuted and the list of military officers who would serve on the panels, as well as those who would prosecute the crimes and those available as defense lawyers. Soon after that, they said, they will announce the first small group of detainees to face charges of war crimes. The proceedings will take place at the United States naval base at Guant√°namo Bay, Cuba, where some 640 detainees are being held. Despite the fact that there will be a system in place, many officials said that there might not be an actual proceeding anytime soon. The Pentagon hopes that the first handful of prisoners charged will be persuaded to accept plea bargains in which they could plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for providing new information about Al Qaeda. Full Story

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