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Jawad lawyers call for release citing Afghanistan support for repatriation

[JURIST] Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainee Mohammed Jawad [ACLU materials; JURIST news archive] on Tuesday called on the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] to sign off on the release [filing, PDF] of their client, claiming Afghanistan is ready to repatriate him. The lawyers say that prosecutors in the case have admitted that they do not have military justification [filing, PDF] to hold Jawad, but have cited the emergence of new evidence and logistical delays as reasons that the court should continue to hold him. According to the filing, government lawyers have said that the court should continue to hold Jawad as he may face a criminal investigation [JURIST report], and that there is a mandatory 15-day waiting period before government funds could be expended for his release. Dismissing both arguments, lawyers for Jawad said that the government has had plenty of time to compile evidence against him, and that Afghan officials have committed to covering all costs for his repatriation to the country:

Respondents recommend that the Court take two "considerations" into account when fashioning its relief: first, that the Attorney General has initiated a criminal investigation against Mr. Jawad based on evidence that was "not previously available for inclusion in the record," and second, that logistical considerations and financial constraints will require a period of "several weeks" to resolve. These "considerations" are nonsensical and the Court should disregard them. The insinuation that the evidence furnishing the basis for criminal prosecution is some fresh revelation that was discovered too recently to be included in the record is preposterous. As the dates of the reports in Respondents' Attachment A indicate, the Government has had possession of this evidence for several months...

[R]espondents can easily arrange for Mr. Jawad's repatriation in a manner that does not cost the U.S. Government a dime. All that is required of the United States is to allow a delegation from Afghanistan or from a neutral intermediary such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to fly to Guantanamo and pick him up, something that can easily be arranged in 24 hours or less. [citations omitted]
The judge in the case has scheduled a Thursday hearing [order, PDF] to consider the prosecution's justification for continuing to hold Jawad.

Last week, a judge ordered the suppression [order, PDF; JURIST report] of all out-of-court statements made by Jawad that may have been elicited through torture. Earlier this month, the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] chose not to oppose [response, PDF; JURIST report] a motion to suppress [text, PDF] the statements filed by Jawad's lawyers. In May, Jawad's military lawyers asked the Supreme Court of Afghanistan to demand his release [JURIST report] from Guantanamo. Jawad had been charged [charge sheet, PDF; JURIST report] with attempted murder and intentionally causing serious bodily injury for his alleged role in a December 2002 grenade attack in Kabul that injured two US soldiers and an Afghan translator. In May 2008, Jawad moved [JURIST report] to have all charges against him dismissed on the basis of the abuse he claimed to have suffered.

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