Kenyan Officials Want Citizen Returned from Gitmo
April 08, 2010NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- The Kenyan government is seeking the return of one of its citizens held at Guantanamo Bay for questioning over his alleged involvement in attacks on a hotel and an Israeli airliner in 2002, the foreign ministry said Wednesday in a letter to the man's family.
Mohamed Abdulmalik, 37, is accused by U.S. officials of involvement in the 2002 hotel bombing that killed 13 people and the failed attempt to shoot down the airliner. The U.S. says Abdulmalik is a member of al-Qaida.
His family has been seeking an order to force the Kenyan government to use all diplomatic channels with the U.S government to immediately release Abdulmalik from the U.S. military prison and organize his repatriation.
In a March 2 letter addressed to lawyers representing Abdulmalik's family, the foreign ministry says the government “has initiated the process of addressing the case of Abdulmalik's repatriation back home.”
Foreign ministry official Binsai Chepsongol, who signed the letter, wrote that the ministry is consulting with “relevant authorities on this matter.” The Associated Press was shown the letter by Al-Amin Kimathi, a Kenyan human rights activist.
Abdulmalik's family maintains that he was held in Kenyan custody without charge longer than Kenyan law allows and was tortured by Kenyan officials. Abdulmalik's family said he told them that U.S. officials later took him from Kenya to the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti, which hosts a U.S. military base. He told them he was then taken to Afghanistan and from there to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The case has raised questions about the legal justifications for Abdulmalik's U.S. detention, and why, if true, the Kenyan was flown to so many U.S. bases.
Last year, the family sued the Kenyan government for wrongful detention and torture and demanded $30 million in damages