Imad Kanouni

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Imad Kanouni is a French citizen who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States of America Guantanamo detention camp, in Cuba.[1] Kanouni, and three other French citizens were transferred from US custody to French custody, on July 27 2004. Under French law, security detainees like Kanouni can be held, without charge, for up to three years. [2]

French trial

Kanouni, and five other French former Guantanamo detainees, Brahim Yadel, Khaled ben Mustafa, Nizar Sassi, Mourad Benchellali, Ridouane Khalid, were charged on April 26 2006.[3]

Kanouni testified, in his own defense, before a French court, on July 3 2006.[4] He told the court that he traveled to Afghanistan to pursue religious education, and that he didn't agree with Osama bin Laden, and never attended any military training camps. He did acknowledge: "I was ready to die for a good cause, defend people who were attacked in their countries"

Kanouni's trial, and that of the other five men, were suspended when a leaked document was published confirming that French intelligence officials had secretly participated in the coercive interrogations of the six men when they were in US custody.[5]

The ruling in France capped proceedings that seemed at times like a trial of the U.S. prison camp itself, with the prosecutor lashing out at the Guantánamo system and saying the prison violates international law.[6]

Prosecutor Sonya Djemni-Wagner, the Prosecutor, described the men's stay in Guantanamo as "abnormal detention", and stated

None of them should have been held on that base, in defiance of international law, and have had to go through what they went through.

Imad Kanouni was acquitted.[6] The other men, who acknowledged receiving military training, but not engaging in hostilities, received sentences of up to four years.

See also