US drops charges against Kuwait Guantanamo detainee

[JURIST] The US government on Friday dropped all charges against a Kuwaiti national being held in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder]. Faiz al Kandari, who previously lost a petition for habeas corpus, was never formally brought to trial. His case was never referred to a military tribunal [Reuters report]. The decision to drop the charges came shortly after a Kuwaiti Ambassador told reporters Friday that a delegate has started discussions [JURIST report] with US officials for the release of two Kuwaiti detainees at Guantanamo, Kandari and a detainee named Fouad Rabia. Kandari was charged with providing material support to al Qaeda [JURIST news archive], including directly advising Osama bin Laden [JURIST news archive]. US officials did not indicate why they chose to drop the charges. The charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning the government can charge Kandari again in the future.

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia in 2009 granted the US government's motion [JURIST report] to hold in delay the habeas corpus petitions of Kandari and Rabia, but only if and when the charges against the pair were referred to military commissions. The judge concluded that the habeas proceedings should continue until charges are referred to military commissions. The US Department of Defense announced in 2008 that it had filed new war crimes charges [JURIST report] against Kandari and Rabia. Rabia is a US-educated aeronautical engineer suspected of running a supply depot at Tora Bora. The two men were charged with conspiracy and providing material support for terror. They faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.

 

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