Washington, Nov 12 : Acknowledging fierce pressure from human rights groups to close the controversial high-security Guantanamo Bay prison, US President-elect Barack Obama is learnt to be considering legal formalities on how to carry out the process.
But, according to his aides, he faces a legal minefield in deciding where to house inmates and how to try them.
Any decision to close Guantanamo, which opened in 2002 and has scarred America's image abroad, will involve working out where to put inmates and require a new kind of legal structure to prosecute them.
Obama's transition co-chair John Podesta said that Obama has already made his wish clear that he intends to close down the prison in Cuba. "Senator Obama has said that he intends to close the facility at Guantanamo, that's a complicated matter. It's under review, when we have something to say about that, we'll say it," The News quoted him as saying.
Podesta added: "I think that moving the process forward and undertaking the review of how one would exactly accomplish that is a project that the transition will undertake, and then will be implemented by the new administration."
On Monday, Obama foreign policy advisor Denis McDonough denied reports that his team was considering a new national security court to try detainees deemed too dangerous to release and who could not be put through federal courts. "President-elect Obama said throughout his campaign that the legal framework at Guantanamo has failed to successfully and swiftly prosecute terrorists, and he shares the broad bipartisan belief that Guantanamo should be closed," McDonough said.
He added: "There is absolutely no truth to reports that a decision has been made about how and where to try the detainees, and there is no process in place to make that decision until his national security and legal teams are assembled."