They confirmed they had visited such training camps “but said they had not participated in any armed attacks.” Â Â Which proves that they’re totally innocent, right?Â They were just practicing their ‘religion,’- right? Rrright????
Five French former inmates of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp who had been convicted of criminal conspiracy linked to terrorism after returning to France were freed on Tuesday by an appeals court.
The court in Paris released the men on grounds the ruling was based on evidence illegally extracted by French security agents at the U.S. prison, a symbol of detainee abuse which U.S. President Barack Obama plans to shut down.
The court disqualified the evidence, saying French agents for security service DST could not simultaneously gather intelligence and conduct criminal investigations.
“We could not accept that (the interrogators) would question people imprisoned in a foreign territory, in conditions contrary to international conventions,” Paul-Albert Iweins, the lawyer for one of the men, told Reuters.
The five — Khaled ben Mustapha, Mourad Benchellali, Nizar Sassi, Redouane Khalid and Brahim Yadel — said they were tortured during their stay at Guantanamo, where they each were held for one and a half to two years.
They returned to France in 2004 and 2005, were detained again as part of an agreement between Paris and Washington, and were tried and sentenced to one year in prison in 2007.
The ruling comes a day after the release of a British resident held at Guantanmo, which was set up to hold suspected al Qaeda and Taliban fighters captured by U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan.
With the ruling, all seven French citizens once held at Guantanamo have been released. Former inmate Imad Achab-Kanouni was freed after a trial in France, while another former prisoner, Mustaq Ali-Patel, was not prosecuted upon his return.
The five freed on Tuesday were arrested in Pakistan and Afghanistan between late 2001 and early 2002 and were accused of having received military training in Afghanistan in 2001. They confirmed they had visited such training camps but said they had not participated in any armed attacks.