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World

AFP
July 14, 2018

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Germany deports bin Laden’s bodyguard

BERLIN: A Tunisian man who allegedly worked as a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden was deported from Germany on Friday, more than a decade after his asylum bid was first rejected, officials said.

The 42-year-old, identified by German authorities only as Sami A. and by Tunis as Sami Idoudi, had lived in Germany for more than two decades, but outrage over his presence grew in recent months as Germany cracks down on failed asylum seekers. "I can confirm that Sami A. was sent back to Tunisia this morning and handed over to Tunisian authorities," interior ministry spokeswoman Annegret Korff told reporters, following a report in the top-selling Bild newspaper.

"He was placed under arrest just after his arrival in Tunis," a spokesman for the Tunisian anti-terror force, Sofiene Sliti, told AFP. Sami A. had previously successfully argued against his deportation, saying he risked being tortured in his homeland.

A court in the city of Gelsenkirchen ruled against the deportation late on Thursday, upholding the assessment that the suspect potentially faced "torture and inhumane treatment". However the decision only reached federal authorities -- by fax -- on Friday morning, after Sami A.’s flight to Tunisia had taken off, DPA news agency reported.

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