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Homeland Security

07 March 2005

Defense Dept. Report, March 7: New Detainees Sent to France

A total of 211 detainees have been transferred from Guantanamo

The Defense Department announced March 7 that it transferred three more detainees from U.S. military custody in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to France.

The unidentified detainees were transferred with the expectation that they would be prosecuted in France.

Four other individuals have been transferred to France since the United States began holding individuals suspected of involvement in the global war on terrorism.

So far a total of 211 men have left Guantanamo. They include 65 turned over to the control of other governments: Pakistan (29), Morocco (five), France (seven); Russia (seven), Saudi Arabia (four), the United Kingdom (nine) and one each to Spain, Sweden, Kuwait, and Australia. A further 146 were released without government involvement.

Another 540 detainees are still being held. Other individuals are expected to be released or transferred over time.

A March 7 Pentagon release says many factors come into play in deciding whether to continue to hold a detainee, or enemy combatant as they are also designated. Such factors include a determination as to whether a detainee would continue to pose a threat to the United States if released, and the remaining intelligence value of the detainee.

The American Forces Press Service (AFPS) also reported March 7 that a U.S. Court of Appeals hearing in April may address pending legal issues for existing detainees.

In January two judges in the U.S. District Court in Washington issued two opposing rules on detainees. District Judge Richard Leon ruled that there is no viable legal theory for detainees to contest their legal status in the U.S. judicial system, while Judge Joyce Hens Green ruled to the contrary. Both decisions were handed down within days of each other.

AFPS quoted a special assistant to the Defense Department's general counsel as saying the two decisions stand in parallel, so that neither judge's ruling outranks the other. A higher court must therefore decide.

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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