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Kuwait high court upholds acquittals of former Guantanamo detainees

[JURIST] Kuwait's high court Saturday upheld a May lower court decision [JURIST report] acquitting five Kuwaiti citizens formerly held at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] of alleged connections with al Qaeda. The five men were returned [JURIST report] to Kuwait in November and subsequently charged with membership in the terrorist organization and for fighting against the US, which Kuwait [JURIST news archive] considers a close ally. Kuwait state news agency KUNA [media website] said Kuwait's Court of Cassation ruled in favor of the men because there was not enough evidence to prove the charges against them.

The Kuwaiti citizens had been held in Guantanamo Bay since the US invasion of Afghanistan [JURIST news archive] in 2001 following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks [JURIST news archive] on the US. Reuters has more.

12:30 PM ET 07/23/06 - The five men whose acquittals were upheld Saturday - Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi, Abdul-Aziz al-Shimmiri, Adel Zamel Abdul-Mohsen, Saad Madhi al-Azmi and Mohammed Fnaitil al-Dehani - were among the twelve plaintiffs in Al Odah v. US, later joined with Rasul v. Bush and decided by the US Supreme Court in 2004. Claiming that they had been doing humanitarian work in Afghanistan when local villagers seeking bounties turned them over to US forces, the men sought a court order requiring the US to inform them of the charges against them and allow them to communicate with their familes. The Supreme Court granted certiorari on the narrow question of whether US courts had jurisdiction to hear challenges by Guantanamo detainees. The court eventually ruled [opinion text] that they did.

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