Freed from Gitmo, back in Kabul

McClatchy NewspapersAugust 25, 2009 

— A young Afghan whose six-year detention at Guantanamo came to symbolize many of the problems of the Bush administration's detention policies in the war on terrorism arrived in his home country Monday, less than a month after a federal judge in Washington ordered his release.

Mohammed Jawad, whose confession to throwing a hand grenade that wounded two U.S. soldiers was rejected as coerced by torture, was helicoptered into Kabul from Bagram Air Base and taken to the office of the Afghan attorney general.

One of his defense attorneys, Marine Maj. Eric Montalvo, said Jawad then met with President Hamid Karzai and was scheduled to be released to an uncle.

Jawad's journey home began last October, when a U.S. military judge in Guantanamo ruled that Afghan police had threatened to kill both Jawad and his family during his interrogation. Those threats constituted torture, Army Col. Stephen Henley said, and the confession was not admissible as evidence.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle ordered Jawad's release July 30, saying that without the confession, there was no evidence to link Jawad to the grenade attack.

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