US & Canada

Yemen man detained at Guantanamo Bay to be freed

Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, on 20 November 2013 Image copyright AP
Image caption Guantanamo Bay in Cuba continues to house 155 prisoners (file photo)

A US government review panel has determined a man from Yemen detained at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for more than a decade can be released.

Mahmud Mujahid, 33, had been accused of being an al-Qaeda fighter and bodyguard to Osama Bin Laden.

He was held at the detention centre since 2002 but never formally charged.

He was the first to appear before a review board convened by US President Barack Obama in an effort to close down Guantanamo, which houses 155 men.

The six-member review panel determined he no longer posed a continuing significant threat to the US on Thursday.

He was reportedly one of dozens of prisoners previously deemed too dangerous for release but who could not be prosecuted due to lack of evidence or adequate jurisdiction.

A Pentagon spokesman told US media on Thursday no decision had yet been made on when Mr Mujahid would be released from the facility.

"It's been a long time coming," Mr Mujahid's lawyer, David Remes, told the Associated Press news agency.

"He never should have been held and now after 12 years he should be reunited with his family," he added. "There is no longer any excuse for keeping him at Guantanamo."

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