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Released Guantanamo Kuwaitis maintain innocence, oppose use of US evidence

[JURIST] Lawyers for five Kuwaitis [JURIST report] formerly detained at Guantanamo [JURIST news archive] told a Kuwait criminal court Sunday that the Kuwaiti courts lack any foundation for convicting their clients of having links with al Qaeda [JURIST news archive]. Their lawyers questioned the court’s jurisdiction over persons accused of committing crimes abroad and the legitimacy of evidence collected by US interrogators at Guantanamo, suggesting that if the defendants were not innocent, they would not have been released. A lawyer acting for the detainees during their incarceration at Guantanamo said that while held by US troops in Afghanistan and Pakistan they had falsely confessed [JURIST report] to being Taliban or al-Qaida members in order to stop their torture, which they claimed included beatings with chains, electric shock and sodomy.

Government prosecutors say the five detainees, along with six other Kuwaitis still in US custody [Project Kuwaiti Freedom website] at Guantanamo, have done damage to Kuwait's political reputation. They face up to 10 years if convicted. A verdict in the case is expected May 21st. AP has more.

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