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Federal judge orders release of Guantanamo detainee accused in 9/11 attacks

[JURIST] A judge in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Monday ordered the release of a Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee who had been accused of planning the 9/11 [JURIST news archive] terrorist attacks. Mohamedou Ould Slahi [NYT materials], a Mauritanian who has been in US custody for over seven years, brought a habeas corpus petition, claiming that he had been tortured in prison [Miami Herald report] and had made confessions under duress. Slahi was once considered a key al Qaeda leader and prosecutors had sought the death penalty against him [WSJ report]. However, a prominent government prosecutor stepped down from the case [PBS interview] because he did not support the alleged abusive treatment used against Slahi. The judge's decision is currently classified, although the court suggested that the files will become available at a future date.

Last year, the Federal Court of Canada [official website] dismissed an application [JURIST report] by Slahi requesting access to records of interrogations conducted by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) [official websites] both in Canada and at Guantanamo Bay. Slahi had sought the release of the records to corroborate his allegations of mistreatment at Guantanamo Bay as part of his ongoing habeas corpus petition.

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