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Algeria court acquits former Gitmo inmate

ALGIERS, Feb 21 (KUNA) -- An Algerian court has on Sunday acquitted of terrorism charges Mustafa Hemlili, a former inmate of the US prison facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and postponed the trial of another defendant.
The Algiers Criminal Court found Hemlili innocent of the charges of counterfeit and affiliation to a militant group which is active abroad, according to the court verdict.
Hemlili and his brother and nephew traveled illegally without passports to Bamako, capital of neighboring Mali in 1986, then legally to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
He worked for an international relief agency to help the Afghan refugees in camps in Pakistan-Afghanistan border areas.
He was arrested in Peshawar, Pakistan, after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US with a fake Iraqi passport on him and was flown later on to Guantanamo.
He stayed in the US jail for six years before being released along with another Algerian inmate named as Hederbash Sufian.
Sufian failed to appear in today's court session due to his bad health condition, so the court postponed his trial.
Sufian's defense layers produced to the court documents showing that he suffers from nervous breakdown resulting from the torture and maltreatment he received at the US jail.
Sufian is being treated at a mental hospital in a west Algiers district, the lawyers told the court.
He sustained a shrapnel injury in the head when the US warplanes bombed Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, in 2001, before being arrested by the US forces and flown to Guantanamo.
The court decided to separate the trials of Hemlili and Sufian on the grounds that the only link between them is the synchronization of the two defendant's extraditions to Guantanamo. (end) ft.gb KUNA 212150 Feb 10NNNN