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Appeals court upholds Afghan's detention in Gitmo

Friday - 12/14/2012, 2:47pm  ET

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - An appeals court has upheld a lower judge's decision not to release a former high-ranking Taliban government official from Guantanamo Bay.

Friday's decision was the latest blow to efforts to win release for Khairullah Khairkhwa, who had been a Taliban governor and interior minister.

Last December, a few months after a federal judge refused to release him, The Associated Press reported that Khairkhwa was one of five Afghan prisoners at Guantanamo who were being considered for release as part of a peace deal with the Taliban.

But talks with the Taliban broke off in March.

His lawyers argued that he was merely a civil servant and had no military role.

But the appeals court concluded that Khairkhwa "was at least more likely than not a part of the Taliban forces."


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)