Maintenance. We are currently updating the site. Please check back shortly

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

Boston suspect won't be treated as enemy combatant -White House

Source: Reuters - Mon, 22 Apr 2013 18:45 GMT
Author: Reuters
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

(Adds details)

WASHINGTON, April 22 (Reuters) - The ethnic Chechen college student suspected in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings will not be treated as an enemy combatant in the legal proceedings, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday.

Some Republican lawmakers had called on the Obama administration to designate Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant, a designation that would allow him fewer rights such as the appointment of counsel.

The White House rejected those appeals. Carney said Tsarnaev would be handled through the usual civilian criminal court process, particularly since he is naturalized American citizen and as such by law cannot be tried in a U.S. military commission.

"He will not be treated as an enemy combatant," Carney told reporters at a briefing. "We will prosecute this terrorist through our civilian system of justice. Under U.S. law, United States citizens cannot be tried in military commissions."

The "enemy combatant" status designated for suspects arose in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and some of these have been detained at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Carney said the decision was made by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department and that the "whole national security team supports this decision."

"And let's be clear: There is not an alternative for a U.S. citizen to be tried to a military commission by law," he said. (Reporting by Mark Felsenthal and Steve Holland; Editing by Christopher Wilson and Bill Trott)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus