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Pentagon Rejects Guantanamo Officers' Charges

2 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. Defense Department yesterday said Pentagon investigators have dismissed complaints by two former military prosecutors about the fairness of trials for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay.

Defense Department spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said the Pentagon's inspector general had investigated the claims and concluded that they were unsubstantiated.

Earlier on 1 August, "The New York Times" reported that two Air Force officers charged last year that the Guantanamo trial system was designed to improve the chance of convicting detainees. The two former prosecutors also reportedly complained that the system would deprive defendants of evidence that could help prove their innocence.

More than 500 suspects from 40 countries are held at Guantanamo, Cuba. Most of them were captured in Afghanistan and many have been held in custody for more than three years. Only four have been charged -- including Australian national David Hicks.

The Australian government today pledged to investigate whether Hicks got a fair trial.


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