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Friday, April 9, 2010

We want our 'Guantanamo terrorist' back home, says Kenyan Foreign ministry

A Kenyan held at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba should be returned home, the Foreign ministry has said.

Mr Mohammed Abdulmalik is accused by the US of involvement in a 2002 attack on an Israel-owned Kenyan beach hotel and an unsuccessful attempt to bring down an Israel-bound jetliner in Mombasa. He has been in Guantanamo since 2007.

In a March 2 letter obtained by Reuters on Wednesday, the ministry told lawyers representing Mr Abdulmalik’s family that it was trying to secure his transfer. "The ministry wishes to inform you that the minister... Moses Wetang’ula, has initiated the process of addressing the case of Abdulmalik’s repatriation back home," the ministry said in its letter to Mbugua Mureithi and Company Advocates. But the letter does not specify what the government is doing to secure Mr Abdulmalik’s repatriation.

At the State Law Office in Nairobi, the government was keeping under wraps whether or not it has plans to try Mr Abdulmalik in the local law courts once he is brought back. Director of public prosecutions Keriako Tobiko said on Thursday that the matter was under "serious consideration", and that a decision would be made only after evaluating the case the terror suspect filed against the government in 2009. "I cannot give the exact details of the request at this time, but we shall consider the matter in totality in the light of the proceedings filed at the High Court," he said.

The request contains details of the offence a suspect is accused of and which he will be charged with if it is granted. In December, Mr Abdulmalik’s family sued the government for wrongful detention and torture as well as handing him over to US anti-terror agents, all for which he is seeking Sh2.25 billion compensation. The case is pending in court.

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