Germany 'asked to take' Guantanamo prisoners
3 July 2006, MUNICH - Germany is being asked by Washington to accommodate four prisoners after their release from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, a German news magazine reported Saturday.
3 July 2006
MUNICH - Germany is being asked by Washington to accommodate four prisoners after their release from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, a German news magazine reported Saturday.
Focus said US President George W Bush had asked Chancellor Angela Merkel to take in the men because of the difficulties that would arise if they were sent back to their native countries.
It said Washington had set this as a condition for the release of Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish national who was raised in the German city of Bremen. Berlin has been pressing for his release and return to Germany. A German government spokesman said the Focus account was inaccurate.
"The government is conducting talks on a release of Murat Kurnaz. There is no condition of the nature described," he said.
Kurnaz has been detained at the US camp on the island of Cuba for four years. He is reported to have been arrested in Pakistan after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. He is said to have been transferred to US custody and moved to Guantanamo Bay in 2002.
Focus said the German embassy in Washington and the Bush administration were close to an agreement, with Germany agreeing in principle to take one other detainee from the camp, but not four.
In the report carried in its edition to hit the streets Monday, Focus said the men would arrive soon. Germany had not been told who the other person to be released would be, nor why they could not return to their home country.
DPA with Expatica
Subject: German news