Gitmo detainee transferred to France

May 15, 2009 at 8:26 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 15 (UPI) -- An Algerian held at the Guantanamo Bay terror suspect detention center since 2002 was transferred Friday to France, U.S. officials said.

U.S. President Barack Obama issued an executive order two days after his Jan. 20 inauguration directing a review of the detentions at the U.S. facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The U.S. Justice Department said as a result of an evaluation by the Guantanamo Review Task Force, Lakhdar Boumediene was approved for transfer to France following an arrangement between that country and the United States.

Boumediene, 43, was the plaintiff the U.S. Supreme Court case, Boumediene vs. Bush. Last June, the high court ruled in the case that Guantanamo detainees had the right to constitutional review of their detentions in U.S. courts. He was also a former suspect in an alleged plot to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia, but the Justice Department has dropped that case.

His release was ordered by a federal judge in November.

The Justice Department said since 2002, approximately 540 detainees have left Guantanamo for other countries.

A couple of hundred detainees are believed to remain at the facility.

Topics: Barack Obama
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