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Spain judge drops extradition request for UK residents released from Guantanamo

[JURIST] Spanish National Court Judge Baltasar Garzon [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] Thursday dropped an extradition request [JURIST report] against two UK residents formerly held by the US at the Guantanamo Bay prison [JURIST news archive] after finding that they are not competent to stand trial. Jamil el Banna and Omar Deghayes faced an extradition hearing on April 15 after Garzon requested that the two face charges [El Pais report, in Spanish] of belonging to a Spanish al Qaeda cell. Garzon withdrew the extradition request after reviewing medical reports provided by the British authorities and concluding that both men suffered from severe mental and physical problems caused by their detention at Guantanamo and overseas prisons in Afghanistan and Gambia.

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 [press release; JURIST report] five detainees who were legal residents in the UK prior to their detention at Guantanamo, including el Banna and Deghayes. The Guardian has more.

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