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UK residents released from Guantanamo fight extradition to Spain

[JURIST] A lawyer for two UK residents formerly held by the US at the Guantanamo Bay prison [JURIST news archive] argued in a British court Wednesday that they should not be extradited to Spain to face terror charges. Jamil el-Banna and Omar Deghayes face transfer to that country after crusading Spanish anti-terror judge Baltasar Garzón [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] requested that the two face charges [El País report, in Spanish] for belonging to a Spanish al Qaeda cell. Their lawyer accused Spanish authorities of facilitating their Guantanamo detention and sending officials to interrogate them while held in US custody. He argued that they were exonerated by the US and that it would be unjust to allow Spain to continue with proceedings on the same issues. The Guardian has more. Reuters has additional coverage.

El Banna and Deghayes were released from Guantanamo in December 2007, detained by UK authorities upon arrival there, and freed on bail the next day [JURIST reports]. In August 2007, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office asked the United States to release five [press release; JURIST report] detainees who were legal residents in the UK prior to their detention at Guantanamo, including el Banna and Deghayes.

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