Kenya seeks repatriation of Guantanamo detainee

Wed Apr 7, 2010 12:20pm GMT
 

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya is seeking to repatriate one of its citizens being held at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison camp on suspicion of carrying out militant attacks, the foreign ministry said.

The United States accused Mohammed Abdulmalik of involvement in a 2002 attack on an Israel-owned Kenyan beach hotel and an unsuccessful attempt to bring down an Israel-bound plane in the coastal city of Mombasa. He has been in Guantanamo since 2007.

In a March 2 letter obtained by Reuters on Wednesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told lawyers representing Abdulmalik's family 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.

The letter did not specify what the government was doing to secure Abdulmalik's repatriation.

In December, Abdulmalik's family sued the government for his wrongful detention and torture and asked for a 2.25 billion shilling compensation . The case is still pending in court.

U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to close Guantanamo Bay -- set up after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and a focus of controversy because of torture and rights abuses allegations -- and move suspected militants for trial on U.S. soil.

But he has encountered legal and political problems that have delayed his plans to close the prison.

 
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