German prosecutors reopen investigation into alleged abuse of prisoner in Afghanistan
7 August 2007, BERLIN (AP) _ Prosecutors said that they have reopened an investigation into allegations that two German special forces soldiers mistreated a German-born Turkish citizen while he was being held in Afghanistan.
7 August 2007
BERLIN (AP) _ Prosecutors said that they have reopened an investigation into allegations that two German special forces soldiers mistreated a German-born Turkish citizen while he was being held in Afghanistan.
Murat Kurnaz, who later spent years at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo, has claimed that two German soldiers came to interrogate him at a camp near Kandahar in 2002, and one of them slammed his head into the ground.
Prosecutors in Tuebingen said in January that they were investigating two unidentified members of Germany's KSK special forces, deployed in Afghanistan as part of a U.S.-led coalition. They dropped the case for lack of evidence in May, but said they still had "remaining doubts" about the soldiers' version of events.
Prosecutor Walter Vollmer said they have now reopened the case after Kurnaz's lawyer named two new witnesses _ two people from Britain who had been held in Afghanistan along with his client.
Vollmer, who did not identify the two publicly, said prosecutors would now seek testimony from them.
Kurnaz was detained in Pakistan in 2001, turned over to U.S. authorities and held at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a terror suspect. He was released in 2006 after a U.S. federal judge found the evidence did not justify his detention.
The Defense Ministry has said that German soldiers questioned about the allegations recalled the presence of a German-speaker among prisoners they helped guard near Kandahar, but that the only contact they remembered was one soldier calling out to the man.
Subject: German news