A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

German Foreign Minister denies refusing to accept German-Turk Gitmo detainee

[JURIST] German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier [BBC profile] said Tuesday that he was unaware of a US offer to release Guantanamo Bay detainee Murat Kurnaz [JURIST news archive], a German-born Turk, to Germany in 2002 notwithstanding a finding by a committee of the European parliament investigating CIA activity in Europe [JURIST report] that Germany refused the offer, extending Kurnaz' detention for three years. Kurnaz, arrested by US officials in Pakistan shortly after September 11, was held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] from 2002 to 2006 and released last August [JURIST report] in response to repeated appeals to US authorities by current German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website, in German; BBC profile]. According to the committee's findings, US and German intelligence had determined by 2002 that Kurnaz had no terrorist connections.

Steinmeier, who was chief of staff to ex-chancellor Gerhard Schroeder [BBC profile] until November 2005, called the committee's accusations "false" and "disgraceful." A separate inquiry is being conducted by the German parliament, which expects to call Steinmeier to appear between now and March. Deutsche Welle has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.