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Guantanamo tribunal ignored evidence clearing German-born detainee: WP

[JURIST] Newly declassified court documents show that a Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) at Guantanamo Bay ignored evidence clearing German-born Turkish citizen Murat Kurnaz [AI case sheet; JURIST news archive] of terrorist connections, the Washington Post reported [text] Wednesday. Kurnaz sued the Department of Defense [JURIST report] in December 2006 to compel the release of the classified documents. The Post reported Wednesday that a 2002 memo [PDF text] from a German intelligence officer written just months after Kurnaz's arrest said that the United States considered Kurnaz's "innocence to be proven" and that he would be released in approximately six to eight weeks. Kurnaz in fact was detained until 2006 [JURIST report], and the memo was not disclosed to him during the proceedings against him. Also fully declassified was a 2005 opinion [original censored version, PDF] from US District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Joyce Hens Green that held that Kurnaz did not receive a "fair opportunity to contest the material allegations against him."

Lawyers for Kurnaz and other detainees participated in oral arguments [JURIST report] before the US Supreme Court Wednesday in the consolidated cases of Boumediene v. Bush (06-1195) and Al Odah v. United States (06-1196) [dockets], arguing that the suppressed documents evidence a systematic bias against fair hearings for detainees. Kurnaz was arrested by US officials in Pakistan shortly after September 11 and held at Guantanamo from 2002. He was ultimately released in response to repeated appeals to US authorities by current German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website, in German]. Kurnaz has alleged he suffered abuse and torture [Deutsche Welle report] as a Guantanamo detainee.

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