U.S. Government Wins Gitmo Habeas Case; Score Is 31-9 in Favor of Detainees

December 15, 2009 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

In a rare win for the government in a Guantanamo Bay detainee case, a federal judge ruled Monday that it can continue to hold a 28-year-old Yemeni at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Musa’ab Al-Madhwani has been imprisoned at Guantanamo since October 2002. The government claims he was a member of al-Qaeda. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan agreed that the government had shown that it’s more likely than not that Madhwani was a member of the terrorist organization at the time. However, he added, Madhwani does not appear to be dangerous now, the judge added.

“There is nothing in the record now that he poses any greater threat than those detainees who have already been released,” Judge Hogan said in court, according to the Washington Post, adding that Madhwani has been a model prisoner over the past seven years.

The government’s case was based almost entirely on Madhwani’s own statements to interrogators and military officials. The government argued that Madhwani traveled to Pakistan, joined al-Qaeda, trained at an al-Qaeda camp, traveled with al-Qaeda members, and was involved in a firefight with Pakistani authorities before his arrest.

Although Judge Hogan discounted the statements made to interrogators, saying they were “tainted by abusive interrogation techniques,” he did not believe the statements made to officials at military hearings were tainted.

Military records reveal that Madhwani admitted to receiving firearms training at an al-Qaeda camp and once seeing al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.