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Morocco court convicts ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee on terrorism charges

[JURIST] A Moroccan criminal court on Thursday convicted [MAP report] Moroccan citizen Said Boujandia of crimes associated with terrorist acts. The Sale Criminal Court sentenced Boujandia to 10 years in a Moroccan prison. Boujandia admitted his association with with a terrorist organization who sought to aid the Taliban, but has denied committing any crime. Boujandia was held in US custody in Guantanamo Bay [Global Security backgrounder; JURIST news archive] from 2001 until May 2008. AP has more. WaBayn has local coverage, in French.

The conviction of Boujandia was the first criminal conviction of a Moroccan citizen connected with the US-led "war on terror." Morocco had previously refused to pursue criminal charges against any citizen for terrorist acts that occurred outside of Morocco, and in May 2007 had released [JURIST report] without criminal charges a former Guantanamo Bay detainee released by the US into Moroccan custody. Recently, Morocco has assumed a more aggressive role in prosecuting alleged terror suspects for acts occurring beyond Morocco's borders. In January of 2008, Moroccan authorities arrested Abdelilah Hriz [JURIST report] a suspect in the 2004 Madrid bombings.

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