Another Gitmo Prisoner Wins Habeas Case; Score Stands at Detainees 28, U.S. Government 5
Khaled Al Mutairi, a Kuwaiti seized in Pakistan in 2001 and held at Guantanamo Bay ever since, on Wednesday became the 28th Guantanamo detainee to win his habeas corpus case.
Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., granted his petition for release and ordered the government to “take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate” his release. She also ordered the government to comply with the reporting requirements of the Supplemental Appropriations Act (which requires 15 days’ notice to Congress before transferring a Gitmo prisoner) and to complete a classification review of the court’s opinion in the case within 48 hours, so that the court can actually release to the public what the case was about and why the judge ordered Al Mutairi’s release. All documents describing the circumstances and the evidence in the case are currently classified.
According to his lawyers, who issued a press release Wednesday, Al-Mutairi had traveled to Afghanistan to help build a mosque and provide funds for schools and orphans when he was seized.
“After more than seven long years of imprisonment, justice has finally been served for Khaled,” said David Cynamon, lead attorney for the Kuwaiti detainees and a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, in a statement. “We now want the U.S. Government to follow the court order and promptly return Khaled to Kuwait. That is what the rule of law is all about.”
David Remes, executive director of Appeal for Justice and a lawyer representing more than a dozen Guantanamo detainees, said on Wednesday that the courts have so far granted Gitmo prisoners’ petitions for habeas corpus in 28 out of the 33 cases heard.