Congress passes Guantanamo bill

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ASTANA. October 21. KAZINFORM The US Senate has voted to continue to allow Guantanamo inmates to be tried on US soil, removing a hurdle as the Obama administration seeks to close the camp, Kazinform refers to Trend News.

The measure, which was passed by the House last week, permits Guantanamo detainees to be brought to the US only in order to face trial in US courts.

Those cleared cannot remain in the US. The bill - passed 79-19 by the Senate - largely mirrors existing restrictions.

It will now go to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.

Mr Obama has set a 22 January 2010 deadline for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention centre in Cuba, where more than 220 inmates are still held.

While some will be tried on US soil, others could be sent to abroad or face military tribunals.

The legislation passed by Congress on Tuesday removes one of the many legal, diplomatic and political obstacles to the closing of the Guantanamo detention centre.

This legislation represents the clearing of a potential roadblock for President Obama as he considers the vexed task of closing the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

What this bill does not offer is any help on the question of what happens to those inmates once they have been through a judicial process.

The legislation does not allow those acquitted to stay in the US, and those convicted will not be able to serve their sentences in US prisons.

Under its terms, Congress must be provided with a detailed assessment of the security risk involved before a detainee can be brought to the US.

The administration must also give 15 days' notice of any transfer, Kazinform cites Trend News. See www.en.trend.az for full version.

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