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Russia jails two ex-Guantanamo detainees for 2005 pipeline attack

[JURIST] A Russian court in Tatarstan [official website] Friday sentenced two former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees and another man to between 11 and 15 years in prison for their involvement in a January 2005 gas pipeline explosion on the Volga River. The three had been acquitted in September 2005, but the Supreme Court dismissed the verdict and ordered a new trial.

The two Guantanamo detainees were released in 2004 to Russian custody, but were freed after Russian investigators found they had no demonstratable ties to the Taliban. When they were arrested [JURIST report] in August in connection with the 2005 pipeline bomb, which Russian human rights groups suggest was damaged by a technical error, they accused their Russian captors of coercing confessional statements through torture. The same rights groups say the trials were unfair because the evidence against the three defendants, including cell phone records and legally obtainable Muslim literature, was not enough to convict. One of the ex-detainees - Airat Vakhitov - formerly an imam at a mosque in Tatarstan - had previously filed a lawsuit against the US government alleging rights abuses [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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