Email from Henry Bisharat, DOS to Betsy Anderson re: Swedish Foreign Minister Freivalds on Guantanamo Detainee Agreement

Email from Henry Bisharat to Betsy Anderson forwarding an article by the Associated Press re: "Swedish Man Is Released From Guantanamo." Mr. Bisharat comments are synopsizing the article and stating that he also heard Foreign Minister Freivalds speaking on Radio EKOT saying about the agreement: "Between the Foreign Ministry and the Pentagon this is only about flying him home. We have made sure that the Swedish authorities will handle the case according to the Swedish legal system and this it will make its own judgments. This is not something that the Foreign Ministry will get involved in - its a matter for the Swedish police."

Doc_type: 
Email
Doc_date: 
Friday, July 8, 2005
Doc_rel_date: 
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Doc_text: 

UNCLASSIFIED

F10
Dolan, JoAnn (SBU)
From: Bisharat, Henry RELEASED IN PART
Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2004 5:01 PM

B5
To: Anderson, Betsy L(Stockholm)
Cc: Cefkin, Judith B; Hall, Tracy A(Stockholm); Miller, Ronald W; Crock, Jonathan M; Sagor,
Andrew E; Conley, Heather A; Richard, Elizabeth H; Squire, Margo; Dolan, JoAnn (SBU);
Elftmann, Gregory B(Stockholm)
Subject: (SBU) Swedish Foreign Minister Freivalds on GTMO detainee agreement
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED
From article below --Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds told The Associated Press that Ghezali was not expected to be charged by police for any crime, but she could not say if he would be monitored by security police upon arrival. "That is up to the security police," she said. "I take it for granted that he's free, and I have received no indication that any government department will do anything to try to arrest him." Also, Expressen reports her saying: "It has not been easy to convince the American side of the necessity to follow fundamental legal principles in a situation like this,' she says to TT Wire Service. 'But we have been fortunate in getting them to understand that one doesn't hold men imprisoned for an indefinite time without bringing them to account. The Swedish demand has always been that the US should finally bring the Swede to trial, or else set him free." On FBIS, we find Freivalds speaking to Radio EKOT and saying about the agreement: "Between the Foreign Ministry and the Pentagon this is only about flying him home. We have made sure that the Swedish authorities will handle the case according to the Swedish legal system and this it will make its own judgments. This is not something that the Foreign Ministry will get involved in - its a matter for the Swedish police."
Thanks Again, Henry
Here is the AP story:
Swedish Man Is Released From Guantanamo
By MATT MOORE, Associated Press Writer
STOCKHOLM, Sweden - A Swedish man held for more than two years by the United States in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, returned home Thursday after he was released to the Swedish government by the Pentagon.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry said Medhi-Muhammed Ghezali landed at Skaysta Airport in the southern Swedish city of Nykoeping Thursday evening aboard a government-charter private jet.
It was unclear whether Ghezali would return to his father's home in Orebro or be taken to the capital, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE
REVIEW AUTHORITY: WILLIAM J GEHRON U-UNCLASSIFIED DOS-001330
DATE/CASE ID: 29 NOV 2004 200303827
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UNCLASSIFIED
Stockholm, to be questioned by Swedish officials.
Mehdi-Muhammed Ghezali was released to the Swedish government earlier Thursday after more than two years at Guantanamo, where some 600 foreigners are being held on suspicion of being members of al-Qaida or the Taliban.
Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds told The Associated Press that Ghezali was not expected to be charged by police for any crime, but she could not say if he would be monitored by security police upon arrival. "That is up to the security police," she said. "I take it for granted that he's free, and I have received no indication that any government department will do anything to try to arrest him."
Ghezali - born in Sweden to a Finnish mother and Algerian father - was reportedly part of a group of 156 suspected al-Qaida fighters arrested in 2001 by Pakistani authorities while fleeing the bra Bora mountains into Pakistan.
His father, Mehdi Ghezali, has staged a series of on-again, off-again hunger strikes to draw attention to his son's plight.
On Thursday, he expressed shock about his son's release, telling Swedish news agency TT: "I will believe it when I see him here."
Sweden had repeatedly called on the United States to either charge Ghezali or release him from the U.S. naval base at the eastern tip of Cuba. Swedish Prime Minister Goeran Persson raised the issued during an April meeting with President Bush in Washington.
"Sweden participates actively in the fight against international terrorism," Freivalds said. "But the fight must not be conducted with means that are outside what international law prescribes."
Relatives and lawyers of several European detainees at Guantanamo have said they are encouraged by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month that let prisoners appeal their detention.
Since the detention mission started about 2 1/2 years ago, only four detainees have been allowed to meet attorneys and only three have been charged. Several European detainees, including five Britons and a Dane, have been let go and several French inmates are expected to be sent home soon.
DOS-001331
UNCLASSIFIED

Doc_nid: 
6256
Doc_type_num: 
67