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Germany

"Bremen Taliban" Release Anticipated

A Turkish man living in Bremen is expected to be allowed to return to Germany from the US military base in Guantanamo Bay. German authorities may have delayed his release by years, according to media reports.

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Kurnaz has been held in Guantanamo since 2002

Born and raised in Bremen, Murat Kurnaz is a Turkish citizen but will be allowed to return to his home in Germany's northern port city when he is released from Guantanamo Bay, according to German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

"We have worked for the release of Mr. Kurnaz and explained that he can return to Germany even though he does not possess German citizenship," Schäuble told the ARD German public broadcaster's Web site tagesschau.de. "I think this will soon be the case."

Kurnaz's release has been expected since German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with US President George W. Bush in January.

Murat Kurnaz Bremer Taliban aus Guantanamo in die Türkei abgeschoben

Kurnaz's Turkish citizenship may have hindered German release efforts

Germany 's role in the release

The 23-year-old was accused of fighting for the Taliban after a 2001 trip to Pakistan, where he said he wanted to study Islam, and has been held in Guantanamo Bay since the beginning of 2002.

There is still a possibility Kurnaz will attempt to take members of former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's government to court for allegedly refusing a US offer to release him in November 2002, according to his lawyer, Bernhard Docke.

"If it is true (that Germany refuesed to accept Kurnaz) then there is a very direct line to German shared responsibility for more than four years of imprisonment and torture," Docke told the Berliner Zeitung on Tuesday, before adding that his client's release was "in sight."

Transferred to the US prison camp in Cuba under suspicion of terrorism, Kurnaz complained to his lawyer a year ago of having undergone sexual humiliation by female soldiers at the detention center.

"If it is true that Kurnaz could have been home three years ago, it would the dramatic climax of an outrageous story," said Matthias Güldner, a Green Party spokesman.

"If it is true that Kurnaz could have been home three years ago, it would the dramatic climax of an outrageous story," said Matthias Güldner, a Green Party spokesman.

Bernhard Docke, Anwalt des Bremer Taliban Murat Kurnaz Porträtfoto

Bernhard Docke, Murat Kurnaz' lawyer

Case to go before parliamentary inquiry

Greens parliamentarian Christian Ströbele called for Kurnaz's case to be brought before a committee investigating the German Federal Intelligence Agency's involvement in the US war in Iraq as well as whether Germans security officials were involved in interrogations of tortured prisoners outside of Germany.

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