High court hears U.S. detainee case
Mar 25,2008 00:00 by UPI

WASHINGTON - A top Bush administration lawyer told the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday that U.S. citizens being held by the military in Iraq have no right to access U.S. courts.

Two naturalized U.S. citizens, Mohammad Munaf and Shawqi Ahmad Omar, are being held by the U.S.-led Multinational Force Iraq for alleged ties to terror. Both are accused in kidnappings and killings.

The military wants to turn them over to the Iraqi courts but the two men claim they will be tortured and want their cases heard before a U.S. judge. One could face the death penalty.

Deputy U.S. Solicitor General Gregory Garre asked the Supreme Court to rule against the men, saying when Americans go abroad, "they have to take what they can get," USA Today reported. Garre noted the men are being held by a multinational force and the right of U.S. citizens to appear before a judge to challenge their detentions is limited overseas, the newspaper said.

Representing the two men, attorney Joseph Margulies asked the high court to broadly interpret the rights of U.S. citizens essentially being held by the U.S. military.

A decision in the case could affect the rights of any U.S. citizen being held abroad by multinational or U.S. military.

(No. 06-1666 Munaf vs. Geren; and No. 07-394 Geren vs. Omar.)

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.