Italy: appeals court orders release of ex-Gitmo detainee

The Court of Appeals in Milan on Feb. 6 announced the overturn of a lower court’s verdict on Tunisian former Guantánamo Bay detainee Mohamed Riadh Ben Nasri. Nasri was convicted of terrorism association two years ago, after he was transferred from Guantánamo to stand trial in Italy. He was sentenced to six years in prison for recruiting martyrs to commit acts of terrorism. Nasri and his lawyer alleged that he was tortured extensively while being detained by US forces. It is unknown if this influenced the court’s decision, as Nasri contended that he was beaten until he admitted he was part of al-Qaeda. The court also upheld the sentence of Tlili Lazar under similar charges. Reasoning behind the two decisions will be released in the next 30 days.

Last April, Italy deported a different Tunisian national and former Guantánamo Bay detainee for his connections to an extremist group that had planned various acts of terrorism in the country. Abdel Ben Mabrouk was transferred to Italy in 2009 in the same group as Nasri, part of US efforts to shut down the prison at Guantánamo.

From Jurist, Feb. 7. Used with permission.