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France in negotiations on Guanatanamo inmates

Published on 12/04/2004

PARIS, April 10 (AFP) - French prosecutor Yves Bot has held talks with US officials about the fate of seven French nationals held without charge at the US base in Guanatanamo Bay, Cuba, a newspaper reported Saturday.

“The conditions of a satisfactory solution are being studied,” Bot told Le Monde, without giving further details.

Bot made his comments on his return from a trip to the United States where he said he held talks with US anti-terror officials.

The seven French are among a total of more than 650 prisoners held in legal limbo at the isolated US naval base where US President George W. Bush’s administration has been holding non-American suspects in its “war on terror”.

The United States has refused almost all those held access to lawyers and has declined to charge them or give them status as prisoners of war protected under the Geneva Convention.

Washington is also reserving the right to eventually bring them before secretive military tribunals which could hand down execution orders.

Most of the prisoners were captured in Afghanistan when the United States went to war with that country in reaction to the attacks of September 11, 2001 against New York and Washington, blamed on al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

                                                                 Subject: French news