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France high court remands terrorism case against former Guantanamo detainees

[JURIST] The French Court of Cassation [official website, in French] on Wednesday reversed an appellate court decision to overturn the convictions of five former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees, remanding the case to the lower court. A court spokesperson said the case will be heard by a specially created panel of the Paris appeals court. Regardless of the outcome, it is unlikely [AP report] the men will serve any additional time in prison. A lawyer for two of the defendants expressed disappointment [Le Monde report, in French] in the court's decision.

The Paris appeals court overturned the convictions [JURIST report] last February, finding that counter-terrorism agents from the French national security service DST [official website, in French] could not gather intelligence and conduct a criminal investigation at the same time. The five were originally convicted [JURIST report] in 2007 for criminal association with a terrorist organization, sentenced to time already served in Guantanamo, and released. The men were arrested in Afghanistan in 2001 and charged with attending an al Qaeda training camp. They were later detained at Guantanamo Bay and questioned by French counter-terrorism officials who failed to disclose [JURIST report] the meetings, before being repatriated [BBC report].

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