27 Dec 2008

US asks Australia to take detainees

12:17 pm on 27 December 2008

Authorities in the United States have approached Australia and other countries about resettling Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The incoming US administration of President-elect Barack Obama plans to shut the military jail in Cuba within two years, and is expecting help in resettling more than 250 detainees still held there.

The Australian newspaper says Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has left open the possibility of Australia taking former inmates.

But he has warned that any requests would be subject to legal criteria and assessed on a case-by-case basis.

About 60 detainees have already been cleared for release by US authorities but are unable to return to their homelands because they fear retribution.