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Accused USS Cole bomber’s Gitmo hearing put on hold

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GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — 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.

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