GUANTANAMO EXTRADITION BID DROPPED

Judge Baltasar Garzon has dropped extradition proceedings against two former Guantanamo Bay detainees from Britain, Jamil el-Banna and Omar Deghayes, on grounds that they have already suffered enough. They returned to the UK in December but were facing extradition to Spain, where they are alleged to have belonged to an al-Qaeda cell linked to terrorists involved in the Madrid and Casablanca bombings. Clive Stafford Smith, founder of campaigning group Reprieve, who represented both men, said: “The extradition request was dropped on the basis that these guys have suffered enough. They have been psychologically scarred from what happened to them in Guantanamo and before. This is obviously a humane and sensible response from the Spanish authorities – albeit belated.” The pair’s representative Gareth Peirce said: “It should have never, never happened. It caused immeasurable extra anguish for these men and their families. I can’t think of any circumstances in which these men, emerging from a concentration camp, where they experienced torture, should be detained by any other state in the world. This is the end of a sorry chapter in a very long sorry story.” Mr Deghayes said he was “very happy and really delighted. I wasn’t expecting this good news”.

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