Kuwaiti court acquits ex-Guantanamo prisoners

Published May 22, 2006


Kuwait City - A criminal court on Sunday acquitted five Kuwaitis freed from US custody in Guantanamo, clearing them of charges that they collected money for al-Qaeda.

The five were freed from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay in November but were arrested upon their return home to Kuwait and were charged with belonging to al-Qaeda.

But on Sunday, a court found all five - Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi, Abdul-Aziz al-Shimmiri, Adel Zamel Abdul-Mohsen, Saad Madhi al-Azmi and Mohammed Fnaitil al-Dehani - innocent of all charges, according to a ruling posted by a clerk.

It was not clear if the prosecution would appeal. A detailed ruling with court explanations was to be made public in a week to 10 days.

The defendants pleaded innocent when the trial opened in March. Their lawyers argued there was no evidence to convict them and that Kuwaiti courts had no jurisdiction to try them because they had not done anything illegal in Kuwait.

Defence attorneys also said testimonies provided by the US could not be used in a Kuwaiti court because they did not have the signatures of the detainees or interrogators. - Sapa-AP

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