Four detainees transferred from Guantanamo prison camp to Iraq could eventually face trial in a local court, the country's top judicial official said on Wednesday.
Safaaeddine al-Safi, Iraq's acting justice minister, said that the four Iraqis held for years at the U.S. prison camp on Cuba had been returned to Iraqi custody in early February and were being interrogated by security officials.
"After a preliminary investigation by one of the security services and under supervision of an investigative judge, the judge has decided to extend their detention by 15 (more) days in order to complete the investigation," Safi told Reuters.
"After concluding the interrogation, Iraqi courts will decide if they will go to trial for any crimes they have committed or if they will be released if no charges are approved," he said.
He declined to say who exactly was interrogating the men and where they were being held.
According to the U.S. government, the men were transferred on Jan. 17 to Iraqi government custody after years in Guantanamo, the prison camp set up under former U.S. President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The fate of prisoners from Guantanamo, deplored by rights groups and foreign governments as a violation of international legal standards, is under the spotlight after President Barack Obama's promise to shut down the facility within a year.
U.S. officials are still deciding what will happen to prisoners who are not repatriated or sent to third countries.
Lawyers for two of the Iraqis, both of whom were alleged by the United States to have been associated with the Taliban in Afghanistan or Pakistan, expressed concern about their clients after they were unable to track them down for weeks.
But Safi said that the prisoners' families had been notified of their arrival in Iraq and said the Human Rights Ministry would have access shortly to the prisoners.
Last Mod: 12 Şubat 2009, 23:52