Case Involving Former Terrorist Suspect Reopened in Germany | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 07.08.2007
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Germany

Case Involving Former Terrorist Suspect Reopened in Germany

Prosecutors have reopened an investigation into allegations that two German special forces soldiers mistreated Murat Kurnaz, a German-born Turk, while he was being held at detention camp in Afghanistan.

Face of Murat Kurnaz

Kurnaz says he was kidnapped and taken to Guantanamo via Afghanistan

Kurnaz was later transferred to the US prison camp at Guantanamo in Cuba where he was imprisoned for four-and-a-half years before being released without charge.

Kurnaz alleges that the German soldiers who came to interrogate him in 2002 mishandled him while he was being detained near Kandahar.

Investigators plan to question two new witnesses from Britain who were held alongside Kurnaz in Afghanistan. They will be asked to testify whether a certain type of truck existed in the camp. The incident is alleged to have taken placed behind this vehicle.

Remaining suspicion

Buchcover: Murat Kurnaz - Fünf Jahre meines Lebens

Kurnaz has written a book about his experiences


"If we did not attach any significance to this, we would not be reopening the investigations," chief prosecutor Walter Vollmer told DPA news agency.

Prosecutors dropped the charges of grievous bodily harm in May because of lack of evidence. A statement issued at the time stated the case was being discontinued "despite remaining doubts about the account given by the accused and despite the fundamental credibility of Murat Kurnaz's account."

A date has not yet been set to hear the witnesses' testimony.

Allegations denied

Two unidentified KSK soldiers

The activities of the KSK special forces have come under the spotlight in the Kurnaz case


The two KSK soldiers have rejected the claims, but they have accepted that they did have contact with Kurnaz in the camp in January 2002.

Murat Kurnaz was released from the camp at Guantanamo and returned to his family in Bremen last summer after German Chancellor Angela Merkel intervened on his behalf in Washington.

A German parliamentary panel that was set up to probe whether the German intelligence services had violated human rights in the fight against terrorism is also currently examining the case of the 25-year-old German-born Turk.

The committee is also examining what role the former government played. The former Social Democrat-Green coalition has been accused of aiding the US's illegal rendition operations to kidnap terrorist suspects and then take them to third countries.

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