Spain asked to take five Guantanamo inmates

24th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

The United States has asked Spain to take in five detainees from the US "war on terror" prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Washington--The United States has asked Spain to take in five detainees from the US "war on terror" prison at Guantanamo Bay, but Madrid will review their records before deciding, Spain's interior minister said Tuesday.

"We have at the moment five (names). We are studying who they are, looking at the pros and cons," Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba told reporters after meeting with US Attorney General Eric Holder.

Spain's Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos had said a week ago that the United States wanted to transfer four inmates from the prison at a US military base in Cuba to Spanish authorities.

"There is no preset number," Perez Rubalcaba said. "It could be five or fewer. I don't think it would be more than that."

Spanish press reports said Monday Madrid was reluctant to take at least one of the prisoners on the US list.

Perez Rubalcaba said Spain needed to make sure the prisoners would not pose a security risk.

Spain was one of the European countries most critical of the creation of the Guantanamo detention center so "now it's important that we lend a hand," the minister said.

On 15 June the European Union approved an agreement negotiated with Washington that sets forth conditions for the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo to Europe.

AFP/ Expatica

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