STOCKHOLM: Sweden has overturned an expulsion order against a former Egyptian terror suspect handed over to American agents and deported from Sweden in 2001, the Justice Department said Thursday.
The decision was a clear acknowledgment of wrongdoing in allowing Muhammed Alzery to be sent back to Egypt with fellow countryman Ahmed Agiza five years ago in a process orchestrated by the United States. It could also pave the way for granting permanent residency to Alzery.
Alzery and Agiza were imprisoned in Egypt on charges of terrorism, and claim they and permanent residency in Sweden.
Swedish Justice Minister Tobias Billstrom, part of a center-right Cabinet that took power last year, said the previous Social Democratic government should not have allowed the rendition.
Critics also say Swedish security police surrendered too much authority when the men were handed over to US agents at Bromma airport in Stockholm.
The Justice Department said Alzery s residency application will be handled by the Swedish Migration Board, while the country s Justice Chancellor has been asked to reach a settlement for damages.
Considering the previous government s wrongful handling that I and many others have criticized, I am very pleased with this decision, Billstrom said.
Agiza is still in prison and was convicted by Egypt s Supreme Military Court in April were tortured. Sweden has been highly criticized by human rights organizations for allowing the men s removal, and Alzery – who was released without standing trial in 2003 after Egyptian authorities dismissed the allegations – has asked for damages 2004, for leading an outlawed group allegedly aiming to overthrow the Egyptian government.