A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled unanimously this week to close oral argument to the public in a Guantanamo Bay detainee dispute viewed as a test case for the government’s authority to hold alleged combatants in military detention.
Last year, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that the government met its burden to detain Belkacem Bensayah as an enemy combatant even though he was arrested in Bosnia, hundreds of miles from battle. Leon denied habeas corpus to Bensayah, who is represented by Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. The judge found Bensayah intended to facilitate travel to Afghanistan for those who wanted to battle the United States.
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