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U.S. Official Ends Sentence of Terrorist Who Was Tortured by C.I.A.

By , in Politics , at March 11, 2022

Majid Khan, who confessed to conflict crimes and turned informant in 2012, is not going to go free from Guantánamo Bay till U.S. diplomats discover a nation to take him in.

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — A confessed courier for Al Qaeda whose story of torture by the C.I.A. disgusted a U.S. army jury has accomplished his jail sentence, the Pentagon introduced Friday. Now U.S. diplomats should discover a place for him to go.

Majid Khan was sentenced to 26 years in jail in October, ranging from when he first pleaded responsible to conflict crimes on Feb. 28, 2012, for delivering $50,000 from Pakistan to a Qaeda affiliate. The cash was used within the 2003 bombing of a Marriott hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, that killed a few dozen folks.

However the army jury additionally declared his torture by the US “a stain on the moral fiber of America” and urged the conflict court docket overseer to supply him clemency.

On Friday, Jeffrey D. Wooden, who serves because the convening authority for army commissions, did simply that. He reduced the sentence to 10 years, that means it ended on March 1.

In doing so, Mr. Khan grew to become the 20th of the 38 detainees currently held at Guantánamo Bay for whom the US wants to rearrange secure switch to a different nation. His lawyer, J. Wells Dixon, urged the Biden administration to “switch him promptly to a secure third nation.”

Mr. Khan, 42, is a Pakistani citizen who went to highschool in suburban Maryland, however neither place seems to be a viable choice. By legislation, no Guantánamo detainee may be taken to the US. His legal professionals say he can’t be returned to Pakistan as a result of, when he first pleaded responsible, he grew to become a U.S. authorities witness, and his life could possibly be in peril have been he despatched there.

“There is no such thing as a foundation left to proceed to carry Majid Khan at Guantánamo,” Mr. Dixon stated. “The USA should ship him to a secure, third nation the place he may be reunited together with his spouse and his daughter, who he by no means met.”

Mr. Wooden, a colonel in the Arkansas National Guard, was appointed to the civilian place of conflict court docket overseer in the course of the Trump administration and has large latitude to assessment and dismiss circumstances, in addition to negotiate plea agreements. Within the case of Mr. Khan, an agreement final 12 months that was stored secret from the jury pledged to scale back his time in confinement.

As a part of the deal, Mr. Khan was permitted to make a public plea for leniency to the jury in October. He provided a painful, prolonged account of his journey from a hipster highschool graduate in suburban Maryland within the late 1990s to a Qaeda recruit in Pakistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults, adopted by his disappearance into the black websites of the C.I.A. for 3 years.

He described brutal and humiliating treatment, together with being chained contorted and nude with a hood on his head, making sleep unattainable, almost drowning in icy chilly water in an improvisation of waterboarding and being roughly and cruelly fed by way of tubes in his rectum and nostril.

Mr. Khan’s army lawyer, Maj. Michael J. Lyness of the Military, bluntly advised fellow U.S. officers on the jury that the prisoner “was raped by the hands of the U.S. authorities” and subjected to “heinous and vile acts of torture.”

After deciding their sentence, seven of Mr. Khan’s eight jurors wrote a letter to the convening authority urging clemency for Mr. Khan due to what the US had carried out to him.

“This abuse was of no sensible worth when it comes to intelligence, or some other tangible profit to U.S. pursuits,” the letter stated. “As a substitute, it’s a stain on the ethical fiber of America; the remedy of Mr. Khan within the fingers of U.S. personnel needs to be a supply of disgrace for the U.S. authorities.”

The jury foreman, Capt. Scott B. Curtis of the Navy, was the one juror concerned within the clemency letter who chose to state his views publicly. Nonetheless, it was a rare reproach of the legal framework and C.I.A. detention system that the Bush administration established after the Sept. 11 assaults.

When Mr. Khan described his experiences on the black websites to the jury in October, he was the primary former black web site prisoner to take action in open court docket.

His testimony capped years of litigation to uncover and declassify data in an effort to supply a public reckoning about what occurred to him.

Though he was captured in 2003 in Pakistan, he was not allowed to see his legal professionals, Mr. Dixon and Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, until 2007, till a 12 months after he was dropped at Guantánamo Bay.

“Considering again, Majid was a scared, broken child the primary time I met him 15 years in the past,” Mr. Dixon stated. “He’s come a good distance and we’re very happy with him.”

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