A federal judge has ordered the Pentagon to free a Yemeni father of two with a heart condition who has been held for seven and a half years at Guantánamo on suspicion of serving as Osama bin Laden's bodyguard.
Mohammed al Adahi, 47, testified by video link from the prison camp that he had met bin Laden socially during the summer before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks but never worked for him or waged jihad.
"I did not fight the American alliance. I did not deal with Taliban or al Qaeda. I am a working man in my country. I have never committed a crime,'' he said, according to a transcript of his mostly classified June hearing at the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C.
U.S. Judge Gladys Kessler ruled for his release on Monday, instructing the U.S. government to "take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps'' and comply with Congressional requirement to release him "forthwith.'' She also ordered the government to release a public version of her decision Friday.
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Unclear is how soon Adahi might leave Guanaánamo, where his attorneys say he suffers high blood pressure and at one point was offered angioplasty treatments by prison camp medical staff.
The U.S. is still negotiating a repatriation agreement with the Yemeni government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh for up to 93 Yemeni citizens held among the 229 detainees at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.
Kessler's ruling raised to 29 the number of long-held Guantanamo captives that federal judges have ordered released through unlawful detention suits, compared with the six whose detentions judges have upheld.
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