Ex-Guantanamo detainee charged in native Algeria

Published July 27, 2010

ALGIERS, Algeria – A former Guantanamo detainee who was transferred to his native Algeria earlier this month has been indicted, the Algiers prosecutor's office said Monday.

Aziz Abdul Naji was also placed under judicial supervision Sunday, the office said in a statement, though it did not say what he had been charged with or what the supervision entailed.

Naji was transferred to Algeria on July 18. Captured in Pakistan in 2002 and held in Guantanamo, Naji fought his repatriation, saying he feared he would be mistreated or even killed in Algeria.

The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Naji lost his case earlier this month, clearing the way for him and five other Algerian Guantanamo inmates to be repatriated. The six have said they would rather remain at the prison camp at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba than return to their home country where political turmoil has claimed thousands of lives in recent years.

Human rights groups also warned of possible dire consequences for Naji and another Algerian ex-Guantanamo inmate, Fahri Saeed bin Mohammad, whose repatriation was expected.

Monday's statement, which was quoted in a report by the official APS news agency, said Naji's indictment came after he had been held for an unspecified amount of time. Under Algerian law, suspects in terror-related probes can be held for up to 12 days, the report said.

The statement made no mention of Saeed bin Mohammed.

President Barack Obama has pledged to close Guantanamo. The Defense department has said more than 600 detainees have been allowed to leave Guantanamo, with 178 remaining in the naval prison there.

Written by Associated Press

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