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Fate of Detainees Unclear, Despite Court Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that military war crimes trials for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are illegal is a rebuke to the Bush administration. But what does it mean for those being held at the U.S. detention facility in Cuba?

The justices did not say is that the Bush administration must close the Guantanammo facility, where some 450 prisoners are being held. Only 10 have been charged with crimes by the United States.

The case today was about Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who was once Osama bin Laden's driver. Hamdan's civilian and military lawyers argued his case before the court. After spending four years at Guantanamo, Hamdan's case returns to a sort of limbo, as the United States determines a new approach.

The Pentagon cleared Hamdan's lawyers to inform him of the court's decision.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Jackie Northam is NPR's International Affairs Correspondent. She is a veteran journalist who has spent three decades reporting on conflict, geopolitics, and life across the globe - from the mountains of Afghanistan and the desert sands of Saudi Arabia, to the gritty prison camp at Guantanamo Bay and the pristine beauty of the Arctic.