October 26, 2009 WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the release of a Kuwaiti man held at Guantanamo Bay and rebuked the United States government for relying on scant evidence, witnesses that were not credible and coerced confessions to hold him for more than seven years.
In an opinion declassified Friday, the judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of Federal District Court here, said government lawyers had presented a “surprisingly bare” record in four days of classified hearings last month to oppose the man’s request for release.
She said that the man, Fouad Al Rabiah, an aviation engineer; was being held almost exclusively based on confessions that were obtained through abusive techniques and that his own interrogators repeatedly concluded were not believable.
“Incredibly, these are the confessions that the government has asked the court to accept as truthful in this case,” Judge Kollar-Kotelly wrote in a 65-page opinion that was partly redacted to remove classified material. She called the coerced confessions “entirely incredible” and said they “defy belief.”
“If there exists a basis for Al Rabiah’s indefinite detention, it most certainly has not been presented to this court,” the judge found.