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UK court orders release of alleged 9/11 conspirator

[JURIST] A British court Wednesday ordered that a Moroccan man accused of being a UK contact for the September 11, 2001 hijackers and an associate of a suspected Spanish al Qaeda leader be released. The court said that the detention of Farid Hilali [GlobalSecurity profile] had become "arbitrary and unjustified" after the Spanish Supreme Court last year threw out the conviction of Imad Yarkas [BBC profile], the alleged founder of a Spanish al Qaeda cell with whom Hilali was suspected of associating, for conspiracy to murder in connection with the September 11 attacks [JURIST news archive]. Hilali has been held in British prisons since he was arrested in June 2004 on a European warrant [EU backgrounder]. He still remains in British custody, pending a possible appeal to Britain's highest court, the House of Lords.

Spanish authorities had sought to extradite Hilali to Spain. In June 2005, a London judge approved an extradition [JURIST report], deciding that he would not face religious or racial prejudice if sent there for trial. In 2006, Hilali accused the UK security service of arranging his torture [JURIST report] in several Arab countries. AP has more.

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