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Judge hears challenges to Guantanamo court

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) — Prosecutors and defense lawyers at Guantanamo Bay have begun arguing over challenges to plans for trying five prisoners for the Sept. 11 terror attack.

The U.S. has charged the five detainees by military commission, a court for wartime offenses that combines elements of military and civilian courts. Defense lawyers say the commissions are unconstitutional and the case should be dismissed.

Lawyers began arguing some of the constitutional challenges Thursday, the fourth day in a weeklong pretrial session. The chief prosecutor, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, said the commission is the right venue for accused terrorists and offers “robust” legal protections.

Immediate rulings aren’t expected.

The five face charges that include terrorism and murder for planning and aiding the attack on Sept. 11, 2001.

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