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France Convicts 5 Guantanamo Detainees

From Associated Press:


5 former Guantanamo inmates convicted

By PIERRE-ANTOINE SOUCHARD — Associated Press Writer

(Published December 19, 2007)

PARIS (AP) A French court Wednesday convicted five former inmates from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, of having links to terrorist groups, while acquitting a sixth man…

The five French citizens were convicted of “criminal association with a terrorist enterprise,” a broad charge frequently used in France. Although the court handed them one-year prison sentences, none of them will be returning behind bars.

The men all served provisional sentences upon their return to France that counted toward their new sentences. By the time the trial ended, all had been freed.

The court followed the recommendations of Prosecutor Sonya Djemni-Wagner, who said in her arguments Dec. 11 that she did not support “the Guantanamo system” and the men’s “abnormal detention there.”

“None of them should have been held on that base, in defiance of international law, and have had to go through what they went through,” she said.

Requesting convictions and one-year sentences for the five, she said they should, however, be convicted because they used phony identity papers and visas to knowingly “integrate terrorist structures” in Afghanistan.

The men – Brahim Yadel, Khaled ben Mustafa, Nizar Sassi, Mourad Benchellali, Imad Kanouni and Ridouane Khalid – all insisted during the trial that they were innocent. Kanouni was acquitted…

The suspects’ lawyers had complained that the men were questioned by agents of France’s DST counterintelligence service outside the framework of international law. Information about the interrogations did not surface until the trial was already under way, when the newspaper Liberation published a classified document about them…

So they were guilty of terrorist activities, despite the prosecutor’s protestations about the injustice of Guantanamo.

Funny how the Associated Press want to play that down.

Anyway, in the future I would suggest our soldiers follow the same “internal law” as their adversaries and just shoot the enemy.

Trying to be nice just leads to complications.

(Thanks to Wolfpack for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, December 19th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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