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Report: Britain - Syria

Britain frees ex-Guantanamo detainee

Rebel fighters near Nairab military airport in Aleppo, 29 September 2014.
Rebel fighters near Nairab military airport in Aleppo, 29 September 2014. Reuters/Hosam Katan

Moazzam Begg, a former detainee at the US's Guantanamo Bay prison camp who was rearrested by British authorities earlier this year, was freed on Wednesday. British authorities said that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Begg had supported terrorist groups inside Syria.

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Speaking as he was released from Belmarsh Prison in London, Begg told a crowd of reporters that his detention on two separate occasions had been "unlawful" on the part of the British government.

On Wednesday the Crown Prosecution Service and West Midlands police stated that new evidence had come to light which proved that Begg was innocent.

The evidence itself is still being kept secret but CPS say that had they been informed earlier, Begg would never have been arrested in February.

He previously faced seven counts of terrorism charges, including providing material and training support to a rebel group, related to a trip to Syria that he made in 2012..

Begg was due to stand trial on Monday at London's Old Bailey court.

Following his release, Begg immediately returned to his home in Sparkhill, Birmingham.

His freedom came as UK Home Secretary Theresa May outlined proposals to arrest and prosecute any British citizen returning from Syria.

May has said these laws will be in place by November.

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