Ex-Guantanamo Inmate Facing Hearing in Morocco

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A judge in Morocco has postponed a decision on releasing a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who was released and sent back to his homeland after he was held without charge on the U.S. base in Cuba for more than 13 years.

The judge postponed a hearing to determine whether to free Younis Abdurrahman Chekkouri until Nov. 4, citing a need for more information about a letter from the U.S. Justice Department letter about any alleged involvement with a group known as Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, or GICM, according to the British human rights group Reprieve, which has provided legal assistance to him.

He has been detained in Morocco “based on the now-revoked U.S. allegations,” of involvement with the group, Reprieve said in a statement.

Chekkouri was captured by Pakistan in December 2001 and turned over to the U.S., which detained him at Guantanamo as a suspected al-Qaida fighter but never charged him with a crime. He filed what is known as a civil petition for habeas corpus with a court in the United States seeking a judge’s order for his release.

In contesting his bid for release, the U.S. government had alleged he had been involved with the GICM, which was designated a foreign terrorist organization until 2013. The Justice Department said in an Oct. 20 letter to Reprieve, which the human rights group turned over to the judge in Morocco, that the Justice Department withdrew that allegation for various reasons and “ultimately took no position on whether Mr. Chekkouri was affiliated with the GICM.”

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