Obama may revive Bush-era military commissions

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By Agence France-Presse

The administration of US President Barack Obama is moving towards reviving the military commission system for prosecuting terrorism suspects held at a detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, The New York Times reported.

The military commissions have been criticized by Obama in the past.

     

But citing unnamed officials, the newspaper said the Obama administration now plans to amend the military commission system created by former president George W. Bush to provide more legal protections for terrorism suspects.

Officials said the first public moves could come as soon as next week, perhaps in filings to military judges at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, the report said.

Continuing the military commissions in any form would probably prompt sharp criticism from human rights groups as well as some of Obama’s political allies, the paper noted.

But officials who work on the Guantanamo issue say administration lawyers have become concerned that they would face significant obstacles to trying some terrorism suspects in federal courts, The Times said.

Judges might find it difficult to prosecute detainees who were subjected to brutal treatment while for prosecutors, it could be difficult to use hearsay evidence gathered by intelligence agencies, the report said.

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