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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Judges Toss 2 War Trial Cases

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba -- Military judges has thrown out the war crimes cases against the only men here who have been indicted, in rulings that suggest the hastily reassembled military tribunals have no jurisdiction over any of Guantanamo's 380 prisoners.

The White House on Tuesday said it disagreed with rulings to drop all war crimes charges against the two Guantanamo prisoners facing trial, and that the U.S. Defense Department was considering whether to appeal.

The Defense Department "will make a determination as to whether it's appropriate to file an appeal or not," a White House spokesman said. "It does show that the system is taking great care to be within the letter of the law."

In separate hearings, an Army colonel and a Navy captain on Monday granted motions to dismiss the cases because the 2006 Military Commissions Act passed last year by Congress gave the court here jurisdiction only over "unlawful alien enemy combatants."

Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, and Omar Khadr, a Canadian who was 15 when arrested five years ago in a firefight with U.S. forces in Afghanistan, were designated "enemy combatants" during the 2004 Combatant Status Review Tribunals.

Reconciling the different labels is sure to slow prosecution of these and other Guantanamo detainees; all 380 prisoners held here had received the same label. LAT, Reuters