A top US judge has ruled five suspected detainees held at America’s Guantanamo Bay military base in Cuba must be released immediately.
The ruling said evidence linking the Algerian men to al-Qaeda was not credible as it came from a single unidentified source.
The verdict is being seen as a further blow to the Bush administration.
Law professor at George Washington University Jonathan Turley said: ‘‘This is a judge that the administration expected a favourable ruling from. He has tended to support the government’s claims. So, it’s a double loss for the Bush administration. But for many of us who have been critics of the tribunal, there is nothing surprising here. None of us doubted that when a real court looked at these cases, the cases would fail because the tribunal system was designed to avoid real courts.’‘
The men, who were handed over by Bosnia in 2001 for allegedly trying to blow up the US embassy in Sarajevo, have been held for almost seven years.
More than 200 other cases of so called enemy combatants are still pending.