German Foreign Minister denies refusing to accept German-Turk Gitmo detainee

[JURIST] German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier [BBC profile] said Tuesday that he was unaware of a US offer to release Guantanamo Bay detainee Murat Kurnaz [JURIST news archive], a German-born Turk, to Germany in 2002 notwithstanding a finding by a committee of the European parliament investigating CIA activity in Europe [JURIST report] that Germany refused the offer, extending Kurnaz' detention for three years. Kurnaz, arrested by US officials in Pakistan shortly after September 11, was held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] from 2002 to 2006 and released last August [JURIST report] in response to repeated appeals to US authorities by current German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website, in German; BBC profile]. According to the committee's findings, US and German intelligence had determined by 2002 that Kurnaz had no terrorist connections.

Steinmeier, who was chief of staff to ex-chancellor Gerhard Schroeder [BBC profile] until November 2005, called the committee's accusations "false" and "disgraceful." A separate inquiry is being conducted by the German parliament, which expects to call Steinmeier to appear between now and March. Deutsche Welle has more.



 

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