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Iraq court dismisses charges against former US detainee

Ali Mussa Daqduq, a former detainee of the US with ties to Hezbollah [JURIST news archive], was cleared of all charges in an Iraqi court, his lawyer said [Reuters report] Monday. The US handed Daqduq over to Iraqi authorities [JURIST report] in December as part of the end of the Iraq War [JURIST backgrounder]. US President Barack Obama considered trying Daqduq on US soil [JURIST report] but was unable to come to an agreement with Iraqi officials. Since no decision could be reached, Duqdaq had to be transferred to Iraq officials pursuant to the 2008 status-of-forces agreement between the US and Baghdad. Many politicians expressed concern at the time of his transfer that Iraqi courts would not be able to convict Duqdaq. The US government did not immediately respond the dismissal of charges.

The US was reluctant to turn over Daqduq to Iraqi authorities. In December, a group of US politicians wrote a letter [JURIST report] opposing the transfer of Daqduq into Iraqi custody due to security concerns. In September, anonymous officials reported that the Obama administration was considering trying Daqduq in a military commission. The administration was reportedly considering this move because they believed that the best place to try Daqduq was at a US military base. Daqduq was captured in Iraq in 2007. He was accused of planning a raid in Karbala, Iraq in 2007 which resulted in the deaths of five US soldiers [NYT report].

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