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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 July, 2005, 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK
US film-maker free from Iraq jail
Iranian-American film maker Cyrus Kar
Mr Kar reportedly passed an FBI polygraph test weeks ago
An Iranian-born US film-maker held on suspicion of aiding insurgents in Iraq has been released, the US military has confirmed.

Cyrus Kar, 44, was detained in May when a taxi he was travelling in was found to be carrying washing machine timers, which can be used in making bombs.

Mr Kar, who was questioned by military investigators and the FBI, was in Iraq to make a film about Persian kings.

He was cleared after investigators judged he was not an enemy combatant.

News of Mr Kar's release comes days after a US civil liberties group filed a lawsuit alleging that his continuing detention breached his constitutional rights.

'Effective procedure'

The US military insisted that Mr Kar was detained because of legitimate fears about whether he posed a threat to security.

Shahrzad Folger, left, and Parvin Modarress, relatives of film maker Cyrus Kar
Relatives described Mr Kar as a patriotic American
In a statement, officials said:

"Based on the FBI investigation, the testimony of Kar and the witness he called and other witness statements, the board determined Kar was not an enemy combatant and recommended his release, which was approved."

Four other US citizens also held in Iraq will remain in prison, a US military spokesman confirmed.

Brigadier General Don Alston said that Mr Kar's impending release was a good sign.

"This case highlights the effectiveness of our detainee review process, he said. "We followed well-established procedures and Mr Kar has now been properly released."

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