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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The first detainee transferred from Guantanamo Bay to face charges in a U.S. civilian court will not be represented by military lawyers as he had requested, a U.S. judge in New York ruled on Wednesday.
Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian who is charged with conspiring in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya that killed 224 people, was transferred in June from Guantanamo Bay to be tried in Manhattan federal court.
Ghailani had sought to be represented by the military lawyers who had been handling his case in Cuba, military defence attorneys Col. Jeffrey Colwell and Major Richard Reiter, who had also sought to remain on the case.
But U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled on Wednesday that a decision by the U.S. Department of Defence to reassign the military lawyers "does not violate Ghailani's rights."
Ghailani's case is a test for President Barack Obama's plans to close the controversial prison for foreign terrorism suspects. Republicans have criticized the transfer of Guantanamo suspects to the United States as a security risk.
(Reporting by Christine Kearney, Editing by Sandra Maler)