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US agrees to release of ill Guantanamo prisoner

Thursday - 10/3/2013, 4:00pm  ET

MIAMI (AP) -- The U.S. government has dropped its opposition to the release of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner who suffers from severe psychological and physical illnesses.

Lawyers for the Justice Department have filed court papers dropping any objection to the release of Ibrahim Idris. A federal judge must still issue the order before he can be released after a 30-day notification period for Congress. He will likely go back to his native Sudan.

Idris has been held without charge as a suspected enemy combatant at Guantanamo for more than 11 years. He has been hospitalized for much of the time for schizophrenia and has developed diabetes and other ailments. Lawyers say he is often catatonic. Attorney Jennifer Cowan welcomed the government's decision Thursday but said she was disappointed it hadn't come sooner.

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