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American convicted of torturing detainees released from Afghanistan

[JURIST] The warden of a prison where Jonathan 'Jack' Idema [BBC profile], the last of three imprisoned US citizens convicted of illegal imprisonment and torture in Afghanistan in 2004, confirmed Idema's release Wednesday, saying that Idema left Afghanistan shortly after his release on June 2. Idema, a former member of the US Army Special Forces, was arrested by Afghan forces [JURIST report] as a vigilante along with US journalist Edward Caraballo [personal website] and ex-serviceman Brent Bennett in July 2004 after a raid on their house in Kabul revealed eight captive Afghans. Idema said that the Pentagon sanctioned their operations, a claim the US State Department has denied [JURIST report].

In April, US lawyers said that Idema's release was "imminent" [JURIST report]. On March 21, US District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered [PDF text; opinion, PDF] the US Department of State and Federal Bureau of Investigation to respond to allegations by Idema that they ordered his torture while in Afghan custody. US government lawyers have asked that the case be dismissed because the Afghan government has granted Idema amnesty. AP has more.

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