The Obama administration said on Wednesday it would seek a two-month delay for all military trials for terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay while Congress weighs new rules for the proceedings and the White House considers trying them in U.S. courts.
President Barack Obama is trying to close the prison, with plans to try some of the foreign terrorism suspects in military commissions and others in federal courts in the United States. The prison at a U.S. naval base in Cuba currently holds 226 detainees.
The military trials have been on hold since Obama announced soon after taking office in January that he planned to close the prison by January 2010. About 10 cases are pending before military judges. The administration had faced a deadline of Thursday to decide whether to seek another delay.
One detainee, accused September 11 plotter Ramzi Binalshibh, asked a U.S. appeals court in Washington to halt his military trial on the grounds that it was unconstitutional. Justice Department attorneys opposed it, but at the same time told the court about the planned delay.