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US top court refuses to hear Guantanamo case

The US Supreme Court refuses to hear a case brought by two detainees at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, who were contesting the legality of the base's military courts.

world Updated: May 01, 2007 01:55 IST

The US Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a case brought by two detainees at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, who were contesting the legality of the base's military courts.

The court did not give any reason for refusing to hear the case, but said three of the nine judges had been in favour of proceeding with the hearing.

Yemeni national Salim Ahmed Hamdan and Canadian Omar Khadr, who are about to face military trial at Guantanamo, had urged the Supreme Court earlier in April to rule on their legal rights before proceedings begin.

The two men said they did not have time to pursue other legal avenues to see if they were protected under the US constitution because their day in military court is fast approaching.

Both men are among the first Guantanamo prisoners the US government intends to prosecute this summer in special military courts, known as military commissions.

"The time to hear this particular case is now," the petitioners had said in their brief.

"Petitioners are irreparably harmed by having to defend themselves in trials where they are kept ignorant as to whether or not the constitution protects them and governs the procedures by which their prosecutions are allowed to proceed."