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US military judge postpones Hamdan military commission trial

[JURIST] A military judge Friday delayed the military commission trial of Yemeni Guantanamo Bay detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] until July. On Thursday, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit rejected [order, PDF] a bid by Hamdan to postpone the start of his military commission until the Supreme Court rules in the consolidated cases of Boumediene v. Bush (06-1195) [docket; merit briefs] and Al Odah v. United States (06-1196) [docket; merit briefs], where the Court will consider whether Guantanamo detainees should be allowed to challenge their detentions in federal court. With Friday's delay, it is likely that the Supreme Court will decide those cases before Hamdan goes to trial. SCOTUSblog has more.

Hamdan has been in US custody since 2001 when he was captured in Afghanistan and accused of working as Osama Bin Laden's driver. In 2006 he successfully challenged US President George W. Bush's military commission system when the Supreme Court ruled [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that the commission system as initially constituted violated US and international law. Congress subsequently passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [DOD materials], which established the current military commissions system. Last month, Hamdan announced that he planned to boycott his military commission trial [JURIST report].

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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