Algeria Tries, Acquits Two Released Gitmo Detainees

Faghoul Abdelli and Mohamed Terari spent six years at Guantanamo, were ordered released in 2006 and returned to Algeria in 2008.

They were charged with crimes in Algeria and acquitted this week. More background here and here.

They aren't the first detainees sent home to Algeria and charged with crimes. Amnesty International has this report on what happens to them once returned to Algeria. Here's another report.

On Friday, Judge Gladys Kessler ordered Farhi Saeed bin Mohammed to be released. Not surprisingly, he doesn't want to return to Algeria. Current results of Guantanamo habeas challenges: Federal courts have ordered 31 detainees released and upheld detention for 8.

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    This is absolutely typical (5.00 / 0) (#13)
    by mcl on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 01:25:57 AM EST
    Most of the Guantanmo kidnap victims are innocent bystanders and the terror trials since 9/11 have an almost perfect record of falling apart, getting charges dismissed by the judges, and acquitting the defendants.

    This, in fact, is precisely why the U.S. government is so reluctant to try the kindap victims in Guantanmo in normal courts of law under normal rules of evidence. The government realizes full well that almost all the Guantanamo kidnap victims are innocent bystanders, and that honest trials using normal the normal rule of law will result in acquittals, mortally embarrassing the government.

    The same psychology is at work here as in the scandalous cases where prosecutors fight tooth and nail to prevent convicted felons from getting a DNA test that would prove their innocence. The rule of thumb in America's so-called "justice" system is that once the system screw up, it must bury the victim in a deep dark hole, 100 years in solitary in some SHU in a Supermax prison, to prevent the screwup from coming to light.

    habeus (none / 0) (#1)
    by diogenes on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 06:19:58 AM EST
    If Congress had declared war on Afghanistan, then would someone captured on the battlefield be entitled to a habeus hearing?

    I don't think so (none / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:54:33 AM EST
    and they wouldn't be covered under the Geneva Convention because they don't qualify as Prisoners of War. So Unlawful Combatant appears to be the best designation available.

    Obama's actions are essentially political and we will have to wait for the voter's judgment.

    Strangely, if they had been named Prisoners of War, under the Geneva Convention, they could be held until the end of hostilities. Of course I am sure the ACLU would be trying to change that.


    You know, I don't pay for your bandwidth (none / 0) (#5)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 12:39:18 PM EST
    so it is not my concern. I do remember that TL asked you to refrain from such, but that is another issue.

    But to remain on subject, I quote from your copy of the GC.


    Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy, belong to any of the categories enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.

    Since there is NO doubt that the people under discussion DO NOT meet any of the requirements of Article 4, then they are not covered.


    You really can't read, can you. (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 02:17:38 PM EST
    "Should any doubt arise" is a statement of qualification.

    If there is no doubt that they meet none of the requirements in Article 4, then they are not included.

    There is no doubt that they do not meet Article 4.


    You still can't read (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 09:55:51 AM EST
    Where in occupied territory an individual protected person is detained as a spy or saboteur, or as a person under definite suspicion of activity hostile to the security of the Occupying Power, such person shall, in those cases where absolute military security so requires, be regarded as having forfeited rights of communication under the present Convention.

    In each case, such persons shall nevertheless be treated with humanity and, in case of trial, shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed by the present Convention. They shall also be granted the full rights and privileges of a protected person under the present Convention at the earliest date consistent with the security of the State or Occupying Power, as the case may be.

    In addition, that's what a Military Tribunal does. No need to give them full up US CJ system trials.

    Face it. Obama wants to try the Bush admin. Politics. Pure and simple.


    The Supreme Court addressed these issues (none / 0) (#7)
    by Peter G on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 02:16:33 PM EST
    several times in the last few years.  You could look it up.  (It's "habeas" corpus, by the way, not "habeus.")  And no, the ACLU wouldn't "try to change" the Geneva Convention.  (How would it do that?  The Convention is an international treaty!)  The ACLU -- and many others -- have been trying to enforce the Geneva Convention, and in particular the protections of GC Common Article III, which our very conservative Supreme Court agreed applies to the Guantanamo detainees.  Why does the ACLU -- of which I am a proud member, a Director of its Pennsylvania affiliate -- care about this?  Because these "persons" are "deprived of liberty" by the government of the United States, and therefore are entitled under the Fifth Amendment to "due process of law."  What "law"?  The law that applies to them -- the Geneva Conventions, under which it is determined whether someone is or is not a prisoner of war, and then, depending on that status determination, whether and how that person may be held.  One "common article," however, is that the person held, in whatever status, must be treated humanely.

    That you are most learned in the law (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 02:23:05 PM EST
    is not doubted by me.

    My point was that they are not covered in the GC per my notes to DA.

    I also understand the ACLU's position in this matter. I happen to disagree with it.

    That the SC has ruled the way they have means, to me, only that they are wrong. That is my right and I intend to keep and to work towards fixing the SC.


    so why the moral agonizing? (none / 0) (#11)
    by diogenes on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 08:54:36 PM EST
    If you catch someone on a battlefield in an undeclared war, it's somehow different than if you catch someone on a battlefield in a declared war as far as rights go?
    Also, if people's statuses need to be established by a "proper tribunal" if in doubt then why does that have to be a civilian court?