German diplomats in Washington are negotiating with the US for the release of a German-born man held for almost four years at the US detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, according to a government spokesman.
Murnat Kurnaz could be free shortly
Negotiations between embassy representatives and the US authorities in Washington started when the Chancellor Angela Merkel visited President George W. Bush last month, the German government source said.
Bernhard Docke, lawyer for the prisoner, Murat Kurnaz, 23, said Saturday he expected a result from the negotiations in the "near future."
Merkel and Bush in Washington on Jan. 13
According to an article to be published Monday in the German weekly Focus, Bush told Merkel he would free Kurnaz on condition that Germany give "guarantees of security," the details of which are now being discussed by German diplomats and government security experts. One of the conditions could be that German law enforcement authorities observe Kurnaz at all times.
Kurnaz, a Turkish national born in the north German city of Bremen, was arrested in 2002 by American forces in Pakistan, where he had moved in 2001. The German press nicknamed him "The Taliban of Bremen."
Transferred to the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay under suspicion of terrorism, he complained to his lawyer a year ago of having undergone sexual humiliation by female soldiers at the detention center.
The German government hopes Kurnaz will be released by the summer, according to Focus.
Two linked companies, Espirito Santo Group and RioForte, have applied to Luxembourg courts for protection from their creditors in recent days. The Portuguese family dynasty that owns both companies is at a crossroads.
In a quarterly revision of its World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund has lowered its projections for growth worldwide. The body said geopolitical conflicts were weighing heavily on economic prospects.
Spain's unemployment has fallen to its lowest levels in three years, an indication that the embattled European economy may finally be recovering from the Continent's crippling debt crisis in 2008.