U.S. military judges have thrown out terrorism-related charges against two prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The rulings could jeopardize the Bush administration's efforts to mount war-crimes tribunals at the detention camp.
The cases were dismissed as the government sought to arraign two Guantanamo detainees, 20-year-old Omar Khadr, charged with the murder of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, and Salin Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni national who the military says was a driver for Osama bin Laden.
Both trials quickly collapsed when two separate judges dismissed all charges against the men.
The rulings hinged on a military decision to designate every detainee at Guantanamo Bay an enemy combatant. But a new law drawn up by Congress last year requires that the prisoners must be unlawful enemy combatants if they are to be tried in a military tribunal.
"Unlawful" is only one word, but one judge said it was a more exacting standard than the military definition. Still, the ruling does not mean Hamdan or Khadr will walk free from Guantanamo.