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INSIDE STORY
Guantanamo: Obama's promise
What is the legality of the so-called military commissions?
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2010 12:41 GMT

The first trial of a Guantanamo detainee under the Obama administration is about to get under way.

The cases will focus on two men facing terrorism charges.
 
One has already pleaded guilty: The 50-year old Sudanese national, Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al-Qosi, could be sentenced as early as Monday.

He is accused of acting as an accountant and supply chief for al-Qaeda and as a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden. 
 
The other is a 23-year-old Canadian national. Omar Khadr, was 15 years old when he was arrested, and he says he was tortured and threatened with rape.

He has been in American custody since 2002, having been captured in Afghanistan.

He is accused of perpetrating war crimes against the US, having allegedly detonated a hand grenade that killed a US soldier.

Barack Obama, the US president, had promised to close the detention centre that has been the object of international condemnation, but he has faced congressional opposition on transferring the detainees to the US.

What is the legality of the so-called military commissions? And who is really calling the shots here - the president or the Pentagon?

Inside Story, with presenter Teymoor Nabili, discusses with Asim Qureshi, the executive director of the Cageprisoners organisation, Sunny Hundal, the editor of PickledPolitics.com and a writer for The Guardian newspaper, Todd Kent, an assistant professor of political science at Texas A&M, University at Qatar.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Monday, August 9, 2010.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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