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US Court Rejects Bush Bid to Change Padilla's Status


A U.S. Appeals Court has turned down a government request to change the status of American terror suspect Jose Padilla until the Supreme Court hears his case.

The Bush administration had sought to have Mr. Padilla transferred from military to civilian custody. The court said the request could be seen as an attempt by the government to avoid a Supreme Court ruling on the case.

Mr. Padilla has been held as what the government calls an enemy combatant for more than three years without trial. His lawyers question the administration's authority to detain him under such conditions.

The judge who wrote the ruling Wednesday argued that the case was of sufficient national importance to warrant the Supreme Court's consideration.

Human rights groups and Bush administration critics have denounced imprisoning terror suspects without the promise of a trial.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.