Court frees Guantanamo men

A judge in Washington has ruled that the US government has no grounds to continue holding five Algerian men who have been imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay for seven years, and should free them without delay. He ruled that a sixth Algerian should continue to be held because evidence against him is stronger.

It was the first ruling in a series of cases arising from a Supreme Court finding in June that Guantanamo detainees be allowed to contest their captivity under habeas corpus. That decision was a huge reversal for the White House

Judge Richard Leon found in favour of five of six Algerians seized in Bosnia shortly after the 9/11 terror attacks. The US authorities claimed they had been plotting an attack on the US embassy in Bosnia. But the grounds for holding the men were insufficient, Judge Leon ruled. "To rest on so thin a reed would be inconsistent with this court's obligations," he said.

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