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Trial of six former Guantanamo detainees begins in France

[JURIST] Six Frenchmen who were released from the US detention center in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] went on trial Monday in Paris, where they stand accused of attending combat training at an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan. France freed five of the suspects after their repatriation to France from Guantanamo in July 2004 and March 2005 [BBC reports]. The prosecution alleges that the six suspects were recruited by Rachid Boukhalfa, an Algerian held in a British prison also known as Abu Doha. France formally charged the six defendants [JURIST report] in April.

In an op-ed [text] for the New York Times last month, one of the suspects, Mourad Benchellali, admitted to attending the training camp but claimed that friends compelled him to join. A verdict in the case is expected in mid-July. Reuters has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

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