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Morocco acquits five former Guantanamo inmates - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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RABAT, (Reuters) – Five Moroccans sent home from the Guantanamo U.S. military camp in 2004 were acquitted on Friday of terrorism charges levelled at them on their return.

The five were accused of criminal gang membership, failure to denounce crimes harming state security, funding criminal organisations and passport forgery.

They were acquitted by Rabat’s criminal appeal court, Moroccan state news agency MAP said.

The U.S. government, a staunch ally of the North African kingdom, has repatriated nine Moroccans from Guantanamo since August 2004 and all of them were put on trial.

Four remain at the maximum-security prison, according to the Moroccan government, although rights activists say there are more.

Moroccan authorities say they have broken up more than 50 radical Islamist cells and arrested thousands of people since 2003, when suicide bombings in the coastal city of Casablanca left 45 people dead.

Earlier this month the government said it had dismantled a radical Islamist cell recruiting volunteers to fight in Iraq and arrested 26 people.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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