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Holder plans to appeal order releasing 9/11 suspect

[JURIST] US Attorney General Eric Holder [official profile] said Thursday that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) would appeal a judge's order to release a Guantanamo Bay detainee suspected of involvement in the 9/11 [JURIST news archive] World Trade Center attacks. In a decision released Monday, US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] Judge James Robinson had granted [JURIST report] the habeas corpus petition of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, ordering his release. Slahi has been accused of recruiting for al Qaeda in Germany and ultimately helping alleged hijackers Mohammed Atta [JURIST news archives], Ziad Jarrah and Marwan al Sehhi find training in Afghanistan. The prosecution believes that Slahi had a "significant" role in planning the 9/11 attacks and sought the death penalty, but a key prosecutor, Lt. Col. Stuart Couch, stepped down from the case after it was revealed that "enhanced interrogation techniques" had been used [Senate Armed Services Committee report, PDF] to compel his confessions. Robinson's opinion is currently classified, but is expected to be publicly released at a later 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 records to corroborate his allegations of mistreatment at Guantanamo Bay as part of his habeas petition.

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