Courts & Crime

Court rejects, again, challenge by Guantanamo Bay detainee

A federal judge has again rejected a challenge by Guantanamo Bay detainee Shawali Khan, an Afghanistan citizen whose travails have occupied several court proceedings.

In a 26-page decision dated Sept. 26, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates acknowledged that “the government’s case for continued detention of Khan has been weakened slightly by recent developments.” In particular, the government has stopped relying on statements once made by Khan following his capture.

At the same time, Bates concluded that “it remains more likely than not” that Khan was “part of forces associated with the Taliban and al-Qaeda” at the time of his November 2002 capture.

“Khan’s detention remains lawful,” Bates reasoned.

Bates had previously rejected Khan’s habeas corpus petition, in a decision affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Khan calls himself an innocent shopkeeper, who was sold into U.S. captivity by corrupt Afghans. Government officials say otherwise.

“Several informants pointed to Khan as a key member of a HIG cell that targeted U.S. and coalition forces in and around Kandahar,” Bates noted.