World

Morocco defends decision to jail ex-Guantanamo inmate after he left US custody

  • Mustapha Ramid, Moroccan Minister of Justice left, and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch applaud during the  Workshop on International judicial cooperation in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. Younis Abdurrahman Chekkouri, who spent 13 years in Guantanamo without being charged has been held for more than six weeks without formal charges in Morocco despite what his lawyers say were U.S. government assurances that he would be quickly released upon his return home. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

    Mustapha Ramid, Moroccan Minister of Justice left, and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch applaud during the Workshop on International judicial cooperation in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. Younis Abdurrahman Chekkouri, who spent 13 years in Guantanamo without being charged has been held for more than six weeks without formal charges in Morocco despite what his lawyers say were U.S. government assurances that he would be quickly released upon his return home. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mustapha Ramid, Moroccan Minister of Justice left, speaks as US Attorney General Loretta Lynch listens during the  Workshop on International judicial cooperation in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. Younis Abdurrahman Chekkouri, who spent 13 years in Guantanamo without being charged has been held for more than six weeks without formal charges in Morocco despite what his lawyers say were U.S. government assurances that he would be quickly released upon his return home. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

    Mustapha Ramid, Moroccan Minister of Justice left, speaks as US Attorney General Loretta Lynch listens during the Workshop on International judicial cooperation in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. Younis Abdurrahman Chekkouri, who spent 13 years in Guantanamo without being charged has been held for more than six weeks without formal charges in Morocco despite what his lawyers say were U.S. government assurances that he would be quickly released upon his return home. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)  (The Associated Press)

  • US Attorney General Loretta Lynch answer reporters during the  workshop on international judicial cooperation in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. Younis Abdurrahman Chekkouri, who spent 13 years in Guantanamo without being charged has been held for more than six weeks without formal charges in Morocco despite what his lawyers say were U.S. government assurances that he would be quickly released upon his return home. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

    US Attorney General Loretta Lynch answer reporters during the workshop on international judicial cooperation in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. Younis Abdurrahman Chekkouri, who spent 13 years in Guantanamo without being charged has been held for more than six weeks without formal charges in Morocco despite what his lawyers say were U.S. government assurances that he would be quickly released upon his return home. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)  (The Associated Press)

Morocco's justice minister has defended the country's decision to jail a former Guantanamo inmate for at least two months, dismissing claims that there was an agreement to free him.

Lawyers for Younis Chekkouri say they were given promises from the U.S. State Department that he would not be held for more than 72 hours upon his return to Morocco from the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Moroccan Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid said Thursday there was an agreement, "but it did not include anything about his release."

Chekkouri, captured by Pakistani authorities in December 2001, was held in Guantanamo without charge for 13 years. He was released as part of a renewed push by President Barack Obama to release Guantanamo prisoners deemed to pose no threat.