Date
19 November 2017
US President Barack Obama greets US troops during a surprise visit to the Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul, in Afghanistan in May. Photo: AFP
US President Barack Obama greets US troops during a surprise visit to the Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul, in Afghanistan in May. Photo: AFP

Russian captured in Afghanistan to face terrorism charges in US

A Russian captured fighting with insurgents in Afghanistan and held there for years by the US military will be flown to the United States to face terrorism charges, the Washington Post reported.

The move marks the first time a foreign combatant captured in Afghanistan will be transferred to the United States for trial.

The detainee, known as Irek Hamidullan, is said to have led several attacks in which American troops were wounded or killed. He was captured in 2009 after being wounded in a firefight, according to the newspaper.

With combat operations in Afghanistan winding down, US authority to continue to hold him at a detention facility near Bagram air base was in question, while Russia reportedly did not want to have him back.

President Barack Obama’s administration had considered putting Hamidullan on trial in a military commission, but later chose to charge him before a federal court.

Bernadette Meehan, spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said the decision was based on a bilateral security agreement between the US and Afghanistan that takes effect on Jan. 1, Reuters reported. Under the agreement, the US will not maintain or operate detention facilities in Afghanistan.

Hamidullan, also a veteran of the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan, is expected to be tried in the Eastern District of Virginia, the Post said, citing US officials.

– Contact us at [email protected]

CG

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe