IN THE COURTS

Appeals court upholds Afghan’s Guantánamo detention

 
 
Mullah Mohammed Fasl and Khairullah Khairkhwa, right, are two former Taliban leaders currently held by the U.S. in Cuba whose release is reportedly sought.
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Mullah Mohammed Fasl and Khairullah Khairkhwa, right, are two former Taliban leaders currently held by the U.S. in Cuba whose release is reportedly sought. .
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WASHINGTON (AP) – An appeals court has upheld a lower judge’s decision not to release a former high-ranking Taliban government official from Guantánamo Bay.

Friday’s decision was the latest blow to efforts to win release for Khairullah Khairkhwa, who had been a Taliban governor and interior minister.

Last December, a few months after a federal judge refused to release him, The Associated Press reported that Khairkhwa was one of five Afghan prisoners at Guantánamo who were being considered for release as part of a peace deal with the Taliban.

But talks with the Taliban broke off in March.

His lawyers argued that he was merely a civil servant and had no military role.

But the appeals court concluded that Khairkhwa “was at least more likely than not a part of the Taliban forces.”

Read more Guantánamo stories from the Miami Herald

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