Afghanistan would collect Gitmo detainee: Lawyer

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 13:01

Washington: Afghanistan`s government is willing to collect one of the youngest detainees held at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay to take him back home, one of his military lawyers said in a court filing on Tuesday.
Mohammed Jawad had been charged in a U.S. military court with throwing a grenade that wounded two American soldiers and their Afghan interpreter at a bazaar in Kabul in late 2002.

But the Obama administration changed course last week and said it was now seeking to build a criminal case against him.

Jawad`s lawyers questioned the credibility of new evidence against him for a criminal case and said he should be sent back to Afghanistan immediately. They said an Afghanistan government official told them that Kabul would take him.

Major Eric Montalvo, one of Jawad`s lawyers, said an unnamed government official representing the interests of Afghan President Hamid Karzai had told him: "If I have to pay for the plane out of my own pocket I will."

Afghan officials have pushed the United States to return Jawad several times.

The U.S. case against Jawad has had several complications, including a military judge throwing out much of the evidence against him and a U.S. district court judge tossing out all of his statements on the grounds they were obtained through torture.

The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission has said Jawad was about 12 when he was arrested in 2002. The Pentagon disputes that and has said bone scans indicated he had turned 18 when he was sent to Guantanamo in early 2003.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 13:01

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