Accused Cole bomber's Gitmo hearing put on hold

A military judge at Guantanamo has been forced to put in the USS Cole bombing case on hold because of a dispute over whether the accused has to be in court.

FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2000 file photo, investigators in a speed boat examine the hull of the USS Cole at the Yemeni port of Aden, after a powerful explosion ripped a hole in the U.S Navy destroyer, killing at least 17 sailors and injuring some 30 others. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi national accused in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole warship, faces trial in a special tribunal for war-time offenses known as a military commission for allegedly orchestrating the bombing of the USS Cole as well as attacks on two other ships. But his lawyers say that since the U.S. wasn't at war at that time, the 47-year-old shouldn't be tried at Guantanamo. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis, file)

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — A military judge at Guantanamo has been forced to put in the USS Cole bombing case on hold because of a dispute over whether the accused has to be in court.

Prosecutors want the judge to require that Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri attend all sessions of court, including this week's pretrial hearing in the case. They at least want al-Nashiri questioned in open court to make sure there are no questions raised later about his absence from court.

The defense in the case say that forcing al-Nashiri out of his cell and into court would traumatize him because he has been subjected to torture while in U.S. custody in the past.

The judge heard arguments on the issue for more than 90 minutes Tuesday before ruling that al-Nashiri must return to court on Wednesday to ensure he understands his rights.

Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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