France puts ex-Guantanamo inmate in detention

25th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 25 (AFP) - A French appeals court ordered that a prisoner released from the US military base in Guantanamo be detained in a ruling Friday that overturned a judge's decision two weeks ago to let him go free, his lawyer said.

PARIS, March 25 (AFP) - A French appeals court ordered that a prisoner released from the US military base in Guantanamo be detained in a ruling Friday that overturned a judge's decision two weeks ago to let him go free, his lawyer said.

Redouane Khalid, 36, was placed in provisional detention, the attorney, Paul-Albert Iweins, said.

He was released March 12 despite being placed under criminal investigation by France's top anti-terrorist judge, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, along with former Guantanamo prisoner, Khaled Ben Mustapha, 33, who remains in custody.

The court Friday confirmed the detention of Ben Mustapha.

"The court is taking the position of the prosecutors, who don't consider that Guantanamo ever existed," Iweins told journalists. "Even the Russians" have freed their nationals returned from the infamous US base, he said.

Kahlid, Ben Mustapha, and another man, Mustaq Ali Patel, were the last three French citizens held at the Guantanamo base. Four others were returned in July and are still in jail as their case unfolds.

Patel was released without charge on March 9, two days after the three arrived in Paris aboard a French military flight.

Khalid has two brothers already under investigation for alleged terrorism-related crimes. Ben Mustafa, who is a married father of two, went to Afghanistan to learn Arabic, according to his family and lawyers.

Patel, who is aged about 40, was born in India but has French nationality through his marriage to a woman from La Reunion. He was reported to have been an imam at a French mosque before going to Afghanistan and has family in Britain.

There are about 540 detainees from 40 countries at the Camp X-Ray maximum security facility at Guantanamo. Most were detained in Afghanistan following the US-led campaign to topple the Taliban and catch Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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