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German ex-chancellor accused of 'abandoning' German-born Gitmo detainee

[JURIST] Members of a German parliamentary committee investigating the detention of German-born Turk Murat Kurnaz [Wikipedia profile] at Guantanamo Bay alleged Thursday that the government of German ex-chancellor Gerhard Schroeder [BBC profile] allowed him to remain a prisoner for years, even after US officials offered to release him into German custody. Kurnaz, arrested by US officials in Pakistan shortly after 9/11, was held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] from 2002 to 2006; he was released this past August in response to repeated appeals to US authorities by current German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website, in German; BBC profile].

Kurnaz has alleged he suffered abuse and torture [Deutsche Welle report] as a detainee at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. Various German party political leaders are calling for Schroeder to face the legal consequences of his alleged complicity in allowing Kurnaz to languish in the detention facility for so long. Schroeder's Social Democrat party rejects the allegations. Kurnaz's lawyer acknowledges that a Greens party official responded to the release offer in 2001, but Kurnaz's Turkish citizenship made it difficult for the government to arrange for his release. AFP has more.

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