Ex-Guantanamo Moroccans get bail

A Moroccan court has granted bail to two former inmates of the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and adjourned the start of their trial on terrorism-related charges to 4 July.

    The two accused spent three years in Guantanamo Bay

    The two men, Muhammad Mazuz and Ibrahim Binshakrun, were among five people handed over to the Moroccan authorities by the United States on 1 August last year.

    The other three, who are due to face terrorism-related charges in the same trial, were freed on bail last December. They are Abd Allah Tabarak, Muhammad Uzar and Ridwan Shakkuri.

    At Monday's hearing the Rabat criminal court said it was adjourning the trial at the request of the defence.

    The five face charges of "support for a criminal group by transferring money to Moroccans to create a gang that threatens Morocco's interests" and assistance in forging passports.

    Arms training

    "The investigation has shown no ties between the Guantanamo five and the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group," defence lawyer Muhammad Hilal told the court.

    "The investigation has shown no ties between the Guantanamo five and the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group"

    Muhammad Hilal,
    Defence lawyer

    The Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) is suspected of involvement in attacks which killed 45 people on 16 May 2003 in the northern Moroccan coastal town of Casablanca.

    According to a Moroccan police report published in September last year, the suspects had undergone military training in Afghanistan, where they learned how to use arms and explosives.

    The US set up its detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, in a US base on Cuba, after the 11 September 2001 attacks.

    Hundreds of people picked up in Afghanistan and other countries have been held their without trial or without access to any form of legal assistance.



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