Federal judge orders release of Gitmo detainee accused in 9-11 attacks

A judge in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on March 22 ordered the release of a Guantánamo Bay detainee who had been accused of planning the 9-11 attacks. Mohamedou Ould Slahi, 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 and had made confessions under duress. Slahi was once considered a key al-Qaeda leader and prosecutors had sought the death penalty against him. However, a prominent government prosecutor stepped down from the case in protest of the abusive treatment allegedly 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 dismissed an application by Slahi requesting access to records of interrogations conducted by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) both in Canada and at Guantánamo 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.

From Jurist, March 23. Used with permission.