Tenth Gitmo inmate charged

Jan. 20, 2006 at 2:55 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- The Defense Department charged another Guantanamo inmate with terrorism and has designated him to face a military tribunal.

Abdul Zahir, captured in Afghanistan in 2002, is charged with throwing a hand grenade into a car carrying three journalists, all of whom were injured by the blast. He is also charged for his facilitation of al Qaida activities in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, including paying salaries top operatives and procuring food and supplies for them, keeping accounting ledgers for the organization, and procuring a copy machine to make anti-American recruiting pamphlets.

Azhir is the 10th al Qaida suspect charged and designated to face a military tribunal.

The tribunal, or commission, is a controversial legal process created by U.S. President George W. Bush after the September 11 terrorist attacks specifically to try "enemy combatants" captured in the ongoing "global war on terrorism."

The process is separate from both U.S. civilian and military courts, and was designed specifically to prevent al-Qaida members from taking advantage of the U.S. justice system's appeals process, and to allow more secrecy in the sharing of evidence.

The legality of the military commission system and whether it meets the constitutional requirements of due process is to be the subject of a case to be heard before the Supreme Court in March.

Zahir's trial date has not yet been set. Because of legal challenges, there has yet to be a single military commission completed.

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