WASHINGTON: A US prisoner review board has approved Saifullah Paracha for release, a 73-year-old prisoner in Guantanamo Bay detention centre.
Saifullah Paracha from Pakistan, has been in custody for more than 16 years at the US base in Cuba, his lawyer said in a statement.
Paracha, was held on suspicion of ties to Al Qaeda but never formally charged with a crime. He was cleared by the prisoner review board along with two other men, said Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, who represented him at the hearing in November.
A notification concluded that Paracha is “not a continuing threat” to the United States, the lawyer said. It does not mean his release is imminent. But it is a crucial step before the US government negotiates a repatriation agreement with Pakistan for his return.
Saifullah Paracha’s lawyer said she thinks he will return home in the next several months. “The Pakistanis want him back, and our understanding is that there are no impediments to his return,” she added.
Paracha, who lived in the US was alleged by authorities having suspected links with Al Qaeda network.