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France to offer residency to ex-Guantanamo prisoner

world Updated: May 06, 2009 21:35 IST

DPA
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France has agreed to offer residency to a former prisoner in the controversial US maximum-security prison in Guantanamo, French media reported on Wednesday.

The website of the weekly Le Point identified the man as 42-year-old Lakhdar Boumediene, an Algerian native who was arrested in 2001 in Bosnia and charged with planning a terrorist attack on the US embassy in Sarajevo.

However, he was cleared of all charges after spending more than seven years in the prison.

His wife and two daughters will also be offered residency in France, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said.

US President Barack Obama has pledged to close Guantanamo, and has asked European allies to take in some of the prisoners. France is the first European Union country to accept a Guantanamo prisoner who is not a resident or citizen of the country.