Miami: President Barack Obama will likely order a military commission to withdraw charges against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a suspect in the USS Cole bombing who is being held at Guantanamo naval base, ABC News reported on Thursday.
The decision, likely to be announced today, would end prosecution of Nashiri in the military court system that Obama has criticized and may ultimately dismantle, the ABC report said, citing unnamed sources.
The chief judge for the Guantanamo war crimes court last week refused Obama’s request to delay proceedings against Nashiri, a Saudi citizen charged with plotting the attack on the US warship that killed 17 US sailors in 2000.
Hours after taking office, Obama ordered Guantanamo prosecutors to seek 120-day delays in all pending cases to give his administration time to decide whether to scrap the widely criticized tribunals created by the Bush administration to try suspected terrorists outside the US court system.
But the judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, said the law underpinning the tribunals gives the presiding judges sole authority to delay cases. He ruled that postponing the tribunal proceedings against Nashiri would harm the public interest.
Nashiri is charged with conspiring with Al-Qaeda in the attack on the US ship in the Yemeni port of Aden in 2000. He would face execution if convicted.