The criminal court in Sale, located near the capital, Rabat, handed the heaviest sentence of five years in prison to Mohamed Souleymani Laalami, who was accused of forming a criminal group, the MAP news agency reported late on Friday.

Two other defendants, Najib Lahssini and Mohammed Ouali, were sentenced to three years each on charges of falsifying documents, the news agency said.

Even though the three men spent nearly five years in US custody, the Moroccan court case was unrelated to their detention at Guantanamo, so the new sentences amount to additional time behind bars.

The Moroccan government confirmed in February that the United States had handed over the three men, but did not say when the transfer took place.