June 12th, 2008 12:06 EST
Guantanamo Bay prisoners given access to civilian courts
The U.S. Supreme Court says terrorism suspects and foreign fighters held at the Guantanamo Bay prison can challenge their detentions in civilian courts.
The justices voted 5-4 that the prisoners held at U.S. naval base in Cuba are entitled to rights under the U.S. Constitution.
Writing for the court, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the country`s laws and Constitution are designed to "survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times."
The prison opened in 2002 to detain and try people suspected of committing terrorism.
Civil rights advocates have criticized the Guantanamo tribunals, saying they lack impartiality and are subject to political influence.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.