Ex-Gitmo inmate to testify in Germany

Dec. 15, 2006 at 11:16 AM
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BERLIN, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- A German parliamentary inquiry will hear a former Guantanamo inmate to probe if German soldiers abused him in Afghanistan.

The parliamentary inquiry of the Defense Ministry, which meets behind closed doors, will hear Murat Kurnaz, a former Guantanamo inmate for more than four years, and his German lawyer, Bernhard Docke, on Jan. 17, 2007, the inquiry board said in a statement Friday.

Kurnaz claims that while in a secret prison near Kandahar in late 2001 and early 2002, two men wearing German camouflage uniforms had smashed his head into the ground during questioning, with U.S. soldiers watching.

The two soldiers belong to the KSK elite unit of the Bundeswehr, a rapid deployment force then active with the U.S.-led anti-terror mission Enduring Freedom.

Defense Ministry officials first denied that the KSK was in Afghanistan at the time; after questioning soldiers, they admitted to the KSK's presence in Kandahar and to contacts with Kurnaz, but strongly denied that German soldiers had abused him.

Several military officials from the KSK and leaders of the German Enduring Freedom mission are also called to testify, the board said.

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