WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal by a Guantanamo prisoner whose legal challenges had forced changes to President George W. Bush’s anti-terrorism program last year.
The justices refused to take up the case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who faces a possible military tribunal as an accused driver and guard for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.
Hamdan, from Yemen, won a landmark Supreme Court ruling in June 2006 that struck down Bush’s first military tribunal system.
Hamdan’s lawyers wanted his case included with two others that the justices are expected to hear in early December.
Some prisoners held by the U.S. military at the Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba are challenging the law that removes their right to have federal judges in Washington review their detention.
Hamdan’s lawyers argued his case further involved the issue of whether that law allows Guantanamo prisoners to bring pre-trial challenges to the military tribunal process.
The high court may have denied the appeal because a U.S. appeals court has yet to rule on Hamdan’s case.
A U.S. military judge had dismissed the charges against Hamdan and another Guantanamo prisoner because they had been designated “enemy combatants,” not “unlawful enemy combatants” as required by the 2006 law.
A U.S. military court last month reinstated the charges in the other case, a ruling likely to apply to Hamdan also.
There are about 340 detainees at Guantanamo. The first prisoners arrived nearly six years ago after the United States began what Bush called a war on terrorism in response to the September 11 attacks by bin Laden’s al Qaeda network in 2001.
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