Page last updated at 23:45 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 00:45 UK

Yemeni inmate to leave Guantanamo

Guantanamo Bay prison at sunrise, 19n November
Some 250 inmates remain at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay

The US justice department has agreed to transfer a Yemeni inmate from America's controversial Guantanamo Bay prison.

But it declined to provide details of where Ayman Saeed Batarfi would go.

The 38-year-old Yemeni doctor has been held at Guantanamo since 2002, a year after he was detained in Afghanistan on suspicion of assisting al-Qaeda.

Some 250 detainees are being held at Guantanamo. In January, US President Barack Obama ordered the prison in Cuba to be closed within a year.

Mr Obama also ordered a review of military trials for terror suspects and a ban on harsh interrogation methods.

'Humanitarian mission'

On Monday, US justice department spokesman Dean Boyd said Washington would work to transfer Mr Batarfi "to an appropriate destination country", the Associated Press news agency reported.

The transfer would be made "in a manner that is consistent with the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice", the spokesman added.

Mr Batarfi has been contesting his detention at Guantanamo.

His lawyers say he was on a humanitarian mission in Afghanistan in 2001.

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