A Guantanamo Bay detainee was sent to his home country of Saudi Arabia, which makes the first transfer out of the detention facility since President Donald Trump took office.
The detainee, Ahmed al Darbi, was transferred to Saudi Arabia as part of a plea agreement he made in 2014.
“The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al Darbi from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
“In a February 2014 plea, al Darbi pled guilty at a military commission. Now, having complied with the terms of that agreement, al Darbi will serve out the balance of his 13-year sentence in Saudi Arabia. He has waived his right to appeal.”
Al Darbi pleaded guilty before a military commission to charges related to helping plot a 2002 al Qaeda assault on a French oil tanker.
According to the Pentagon, under the terms of the plea agreement, he was to testify against two other Guantanamo detainees awaiting trials by the military tribunal. In exchange, he would be allowed to serve the remainder of his 13-year sentence in a rehabilitation program in Saudi Arabia.
His agreement also said that he would be transferred four years after his guilty plea. Although he was scheduled to be delivered to the kingdom in February, al Darbi was not transferred at that time because the Pentagon said it was still awaiting “assurances” from Saudi Arabia.
Al Darbi’s transfer brings the population at Guantanamo down to 40 men.
“My words will not do justice to what I lived through in these years and to the men I leave behind in prison,” al Darbi told to The New York Times through his volunteer lawyer. “No one should remain at Guantánamo without a trial. There is no justice in that.”
The Pentagon said it notified Congress of the transfer “in accordance with statutory requirements.”
“The United States coordinated with the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure the transfer took place in accordance with established standards for security and humane treatment,” the Pentagon said.