22 Jan 2009

Switzerland to consider hosting Guantanamo inmates

5:35 pm on 22 January 2009

Switzerland will consider taking detainees from the US prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

The Swiss government said on Wednesday it welcomed the expressed intention of US President Barack Obama to close the prison and would investigate security and legal implications of possibly taking in detainees.

Mr Obama on Tuesday ordered military prosecutors in the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals to ask for a 120-day halt in all pending cases.

European governments have for years called for the camp to be closed. They are now under pressure to help find a home for around 245 remaining detainees.

The camp has held more than 750 captives since opening in 2002, most without trial.

Portugal says it will accept detainees and France is ready to do so as well, but others are less enthusiastic.

EU foreign ministers will discuss the issue at a meeting on 26 January.