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Gitmo hearings called off ahead of storm

Aug. 22, 2012 at 10:54 PM

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Hearings for five terror suspects held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been canceled because of Tropical Storm Isaac, officials said Wednesday.

With the storm targeted to affect Cuba, officials decided to postpone six days of hearings on motions in the case against alleged Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators, The Washington Post reported. No new date was set for the hearings.

Officials said staff members, non-essential personnel, members of human rights groups and reporters would be evacuated from Guantanamo Bay as a precaution ahead of Isaac's projected strengthening to hurricane status before its expected Saturday morning landfall near the U.S. naval base on the southeastern end of Cuba, the newspaper said.

A military spokesman at the Guantanamo prison said the detainees will be held in concrete structures built to hold up to hurricane-force winds.

The hearings had been postponed by a day already this week because of a train derailment in Maryland that interrupted the government's computer network at Guantanamo. They had been delayed in July to avoid a conflict with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

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