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Guantanamo prisoners transferred
Two Tunisian men to be tried in Italy, while others released to France and Hungary.
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2009 07:49 GMT
There are more than 200 detainees still in
America's Guantanamo Bay prison [EPA]

Four men who were held in Guantanamo Bay have been transferred to European countries where some will await trial.

A pair of Tunisian men arrived in the northern Italian city of Milan late on Monday, where they were taken into custody to be tried on "terrorism" charges, a prosecutor told the Associated Press news agency.

Adel Ben Mabrouk, 39, and Mohamed Ben Rjadh Nasri, 43, are accused of being members of a group that has links to al-Qaeda and of recruiting people to fight in Afghanistan.

The prosecutor says Mabrouk and Nasri travelled to Afghanistan from Italy from where they acted to aid Tunisians undertaking suicide attacks.

Both have been held for more than seven years in the US detainment camp in Guantanamo, Cuba.

Transfer deal

Angelino Alfano, the Italian justice minister, said the transfer deal was signed with the US in September.

He said that accepting the pair was a "concrete political sign" of Rome's commitment to assist in closing the controversial camp, a stated aim of Barack Obama, the US president.

A US official also said that two other men have been relocated to France and Hungary.

Separately, Saber Lahmer, an Algerian, arrived in Bordeaux, in south-west France, early on Tuesday.

Lahmer was captured in 2001 in Bosnia and was accused of being part of a group that was plotting to bomb the US embassy in Sarajevo.

The allegations against him and five other people were later dropped as the evidence against them was judged insignificant.

'Chance to rebuild'

Robert Kirsch, Lahmer's American lawyer, said: "We are grateful for the courage and generosity of the French people and government."

He added that Lahmer has been given "a chance to rebuild his life".

The fourth man was not identified.

Obama has set a deadline of January 22, 2010 to close Guantanamo Bay.

But last month he said that the deadline would not be met, citing political and diplomatic issues, including the difficulty in finding recipient nations for detainees.

There are now 213 detainees in Guantanamo Bay, which after being opened in 2002 has come under extensive international criticism for detention without trial and harsh interrogation methods.

With Monday's moves, 30 people have been transferred from Guantanamo under Obama's administration. All, bar one, have been sent to other nations.

Source:
Agencies
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