SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A judge in Guantanamo Bay's war crimes court has denied a request by military prosecutors to expand their case against a Sudanese detainee accused of being a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden.
Prosecutors wanted more specifications to be added to charges of conspiracy and providing support for terrorism against Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi, a 49-year-old detainee who was one of the first prisoners brought to Guantanamo in 2002.
But the judge, Air Force Lt. Col. Nancy Paul, ruled Thursday that making significant additions to the charge sheet "fundamentally alters the referred charges and would not be allowed," according to Joseph DellaVedova, a spokesman for the Pentagon's Office of Military Commissions.
The attorneys did not specifically disclose what they wanted to add to the charges against al Qosi, who attended the Thursday hearing at the isolated U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba and listened to the proceedings on translation headphones.
Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that al Qosi was one of the detainees headed to military commissions in the United States.
At the next hearing for al Qosi, the government will seek to establish jurisdiction and prove that suspect is an "unprivileged enemy belligerent" so that he can be tried by a military tribunal.