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US suspends military trials at Guantanamo

The decision came as the US Supreme Court was expected to rule imminently on the military tribunals' legality.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2006 09:13 IST

The Defence Department has suspended all military trials for "war on terror" suspects at the Guantanamo prison camp, where three detainees committed suicide over the weekend.

The decision came as the US Supreme Court was expected to rule imminently on the military tribunals' legality.

"All sessions in all cases currently referred to trial by Military Commissions are stayed until further notice," the Pentagon said in a statement posted on Monday but dated on Saturday, the day the three detainees were found hanged in their cells.

The statement does not explain the reasons behind the suspension.

Only 10 of the 460 inmates held as "enemy combatants" have been formally charged since the camp opened in early 2002 at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Hearings for some detainees were previously suspended pending a ruling from the top US court, but other sessions had continued. A decision is expected this month.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in March in a pivotal case brought by Guantanamo detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan that could determine the fate of the tribunals.

Before the three successful suicides at Guantanamo on Saturday, the US military had reported 41 suicide attempts by 25 detainees.