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Kuwait paid $34 million in legal fees for its 12 Guantanamo prisoners
April 16, 2017, 9:24 am
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The exterior of Camp Delta is seen at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay.

First prisoner was released in 2005 while last arrived home 11 years later

Kuwait has paid around $34 million to law firms and attorneys to secure the release of its 12 citizens held at Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

The Kuwaitis were held between 2002 and 2016 when the last prisoner was allowed to go home. According to Kuwaiti daily Al Rai, the highest sum, $7 million was paid in 2007 while the lowest fee was $700,000 paid in 2002.

The daily reported on Saturday that $1.3 million were paid in 2003, $1 million in 2004, $2 million in 2005, $3 million in 2008 and $3.23 million in 2009. In 2010, Kuwait paid $3.536 million, while the fees were $3.274 million the next year.

The state spent $1.5 million in 2012, $2 million in 2013, $3.4 million in 2014, $841,000 in 2015 and $1.4 million in 2016. The daily did not name the firms or the attorneys who received the fees.

The US had accused the 12 Kuwaitis of being associated with, or were members of, Al Qaida or the Taliban. All 12 men denied the charges and most of them argued they were in Afghanistan on charitable missions.

In their testimonies, some of the Kuwaitis said they had been in fact sold to US forces for bounty. None of the Kuwaiti prisoners held in the infamous prison was ever charged with a crime.

Nasser Al Mutairi was the first Kuwaiti to be released in January 2005 while Fayez Al Kanderi, Kuwait’s last remaining detainee at Guantanamo Bay, reached home exactly 11 years later.

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