Fewer Guantanamo Bay prisoners will be charged with war crimes this week than originally expected, chief prosecutor USAF Col. Moe Davis told Reuters Monday. Revised charges were expected to be filed against up to 20 suspected members of al Qaeda and the Taliban by February, but new procedural rules implemented earlier this month will delay the trials for at least half of those detainees. Under the new rules, hearings must take place before a tribunal judge within 30 days of the filing of charges; the trial must commence within 120 days of the charging. Davis also pointed to Guantanamo's limited facilities as partially responsible for the delay, as only one courtroom is available.
Davis said that he was very likely to recommend the death penalty for some of the 14 high-value detainees moved to the camp from CIA secret prisons in September. First evidence is expected to be presented by this summer. Davis also said Monday that Australian detainee David Hicks will likely be among those charged this week.