Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Guantanamo and the French

Great rejoicing: as Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice visits Paris it has been announced that the last three French detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Mustaq Ali Patel, Ridouane Khalid and Khaled Ben Mustafa, will be handed over to the French authorities.

Details have not been finalized but Mr Patel’s lawyer has already announced that “things are moving in the right direction”.

I do hope he will go on thinking that for some time to come. According to French law the detainees will arrive in France and go before a French judge to determine whether there is a case against them or whether they should be held anyway.

The last four Frenchmen released from Guantanamo are still being held in France in unspecified location as part of an ongoing investigation into terrorist networks. One wonders whether they really do prefer being where they are now.

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