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Judge affirms ruling to dismiss Gitmo charges

  • Story Highlights
  • Judge previously dropped charges against Gitmo prisoner
  • Prisoner accused of killing U.S. soldier in 2001
  • Judge says prisoner cannot be held; court does not have jurisdiction to try him
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A military judge on Friday rejected the Pentagon's request to reinstate previously dismissed charges against a prisoner accused of killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan in 2001, officials said.

A guard checks on a detainee at the U.S. naval station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in April.

Judge Army Col. Peter Brownback dropped the charges against Canadian detainee Omar Khadr last month on the grounds Brownback's court lacked the jurisdiction to try him.

Khadr was 15 when he was arrested.

The inability to prosecute centered on Khadr not being labeled an "unlawful" enemy combatant.

Last month, Brownback said new congressional rules on trying detainees specify that a detainee must be designated an "unlawful enemy combatant."

Pentagon officials would not release Brownback's most recent decision, but said he ruled the prosecution had presented no new evidence or arguments to change his mind.

The prosecution has five days to appeal to the Court of Military Commissions Review in Washington.

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"We are disappointed with the judge's decision in this matter," the Pentagon said.

Last month, a second military judge at Guantanamo who heard a case against the alleged driver for Osama bin Laden, Salim Hamdan, also followed Brownback's decision to drop the charges. The judge's ruling used the same rationale.

The Pentagon has requested a review of the decision, but a ruling has not yet been issued. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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