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Iraq Detainee Board Reviews 300 Cases During First Week

American Forces Press Service

Baghdad, Iraq, Aug. 29, 2004 – The newly formed Combined Review and Release Board considered the detention of 300 security detainees during its first week of deliberation ending Aug. 28.

The board will consider the release, release with a guarantor or the continued detention of nearly 3,700 eligible security detainees, officials said.

The nine-member board brings together six representatives from the interim Iraqi government's ministries of justice, interior and human rights with three senior officers from the multinational force to determine which detainees remain a security threat as a result of anti-Iraqi activities.

The CRRB conducted its first meeting Aug. 21 and meets at least three days per week. he board will continue to meet as long as it is deemed necessary for MNF-I to hold security detainees, as authorized by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546, officials said.

The new process replaces the previous MNF-I board consisting of three senior officers, providing greater oversight by the Iraqi government in the review process and further ensuring that the circumstances surrounding a detainee's capture are reviewed impartially to determine whether he should continue to be held, officials said.

The CRRB considers several factors when reviewing each file, such as the circumstances of the detainee's capture, the length of detention prior to review, the level of cooperation by the detainee and the detainee's potential for further acts of anti-Iraqi misconduct if released.

The final approval for all releases rests with the multinational force's deputy commanding general for detainee operations, Army Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, who will make a decision after consulting with the Iraqi justice minister. Miller has vowed to accept the board's recommendations unless substantial additional information about a detainee becomes available that would cause the file to be sent back to the board for further review.

The multinational force currently detains about 5,300 people for security reasons, officials said. A legal review of all files is conducted before they are sent to the CRRB to determine if criminal charges are warranted.

About 700 detainees are subject to criminal charges that will be prosecuted in the Central Criminal Court of Iraq and will not be considered by the board. Many of the individuals who will not be recommended for release by the board, officials added, also are likely to face criminal charges for their activities.

(Courtesy of Coalition Press Information Center, Baghdad.)

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