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"Most Dangerous Terrorist" Yaser Hamdi Released without Charges

RICHMOND, Va. - Yaser Esam Hamdi, the U.S. citizen who was captured on the Afghanistan battlefield and held without charges for nearly three years, has been freed and returned to Saudi Arabia on Monday, his lawyer said.
Hamdi shortly after capture in 2001
Hamdi shortly after capture in 2001
A military plane carrying Hamdi landed at 6 a.m. Eastern time in Riyadh, Frank Dunham Jr. said. Hamdi's case led to a Supreme Court decision limiting the president's powers to indefinitely hold enemy combatants.

Dunham said he talked with Hamdi by telephone just after the plane landed Monday, and said Hamdi told him he felt "awesome."

Hamdi will be not be charged with any crime under an agreement negotiated by his lawyer and the Justice Department. The agreement requires Hamdi to give up his American citizenship, renounce terrorism and not sue the U.S. government over his captivity.

Dunham said he would sign papers on Monday to dismiss the case and turn them over to government lawyers. Officials with the U.S. Justice Department did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment early Monday.

Hamdi was born in Louisiana in 1980 to Saudi parents and raised in Saudi Arabia. He was captured on a battlefield in Afghanistan in late 2001 during the fight against the Taliban regime.

He contends he never fought against the United States and that he had been trying to get out of Afghanistan when he was captured.

After his capture, Hamdi was taken to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, then transferred to a Navy brig in Norfolk when officials realized he was a U.S. citizen. He then was moved to a Navy brig in Charleston, S.C. He spent his captivity in solitary confinement.

The Supreme Court ruled in June that Hamdi and others like him could not be held indefinitely without seeing a lawyer and getting a chance to contest their incarceration in court. That led to the negotiations for Hamdi's release.

Hamdi was originally set to be flown to Saudi Arabia on Sept. 26. The flight from Charleston was delayed because of bad weather and the need to work out unanticipated details with the Saudi government, said Dunham, a federal public defender based in Virginia.

"Sometimes when you've got to do diplomatic things with other countries, people don't do everything when you want them to," he said.

The only other U.S. citizen being held in the South Carolina military prison is "dirty bomb" suspect Jose Padilla, a former Chicago gang member. His case is still pending in lower courts.

Dunham said he was frustrated that the fight over Hamdi's case took 2 1/2 years, but pleased with the final outcome.

"It feels wonderful because we had fought to get the victory in the Supreme Court, but it really didn't mean anything until we got Mr. Hamdi released."

The Justice Department agreed not to ask the Saudi government to detain Hamdi. Officials have said Hamdi no longer poses a threat to the United States and no longer has intelligence value.

The release agreement requires Hamdi to notify Saudi officials if he becomes aware of "any planned or executed acts of terrorism."

Hamdi agreed to live in Saudi Arabia for five years and not travel outside that country during that time. He must never travel to Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Pakistan or Syria.

homepage: homepage: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=6&u=/ap/20041011/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/enemy_combatant

Imagine... 11.Oct.2004 07:55

Tony Blair's dog

"Hamdi will be not be charged with any crime under an agreement negotiated by his lawyer and the Justice Department. The agreement requires Hamdi to give up his American citizenship, renounce terrorism and not sue the U.S. government over his captivity."


...the story if all captives released started to sue the U.S. government
for their criminal treatment.

Let us say $100 million each. And the bill would go directly to
the Bush administration criminals masquerading as "government officials".

Coerced "No Lawsuit" agreement unenforceable 11.Oct.2004 09:31

Me

I suspect that if Hamdi elected to sue the US for his confinement, his "agreement" not to sue couldn't be used against him (although they'd certainly try). It's ludicrous to suppose that anything Hamdi signed as a precondition of his release could be said to have been done freely. After all, they had held him illegaly and in solitary confinement for almost three years, and without his signature on the paper would have continued to do so. That's little different from "The Godfather", where the choice was "Your signature on the contract or your brains on the contract."

I honestly hope that they ALL sue, although unfortunately it won't be Bush's gang of merry thugs that pay the bill, it'll be "We, the people" - just like always!

Making us an offer we can't refuse 11.Oct.2004 13:20

mafia now!

Indeed, Me, it's just like the Godfather, and it will be his (and our) brains on the contract if we try to press legal action. These folks are playing for keeps, and they hold most of the cards.