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Judge Postpones Hearing on Status of US War Combatant - 2002-08-08

A judge Wednesday postponed a hearing on the status of an American-born Saudi national captured with Taleban forces in Afghanistan, saying it is not clear if he has proper jurisdiction over the case.

Judge Robert Doumar originally had scheduled a hearing for Yaser Esam Hamdi Thursday in Norfolk, Virginia. Mr. Hamdi is being held at the U.S. naval base there without having been charged.

The judge suspended proceedings over the war prisoner, after the Justice Department said his order conflicts with a stay on the case imposed by the Fourth Court of Appeals in June.

The government classifies the prisoner as an enemy combatant, saying that that classification denies a person the rights afforded to either a prisoner of war or someone indicted in a crime.