Friday, October 19, 2007

Federal Judge Orders Sierra Leone Detainee Released

San Antonio -- A federal judge in San Antonio Thursday ordered the release of an immigrant from Sierra Leone who's been jailed for nearly one year while fighting deportation.

The State Department accuses Samuel Kambo, who lives in Austin, of being involved in the execution of 29 counter-revolutionaries in his home country.

Twice immigration judges had ordered him released because of a lack of evidence.

Kambo, who was part of a government that took power in a bloodless coup in 1992, has denied any involvement in the killings.

Sam Kambo, pictured with his daughter Shaina, was granted permission to work in the U.S. but was arrested during an immigration interview.

U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez said Kambo should be set free.

The Justice Department has argued that a federal judge had no jurisdiction. Yet Rodriguez said he's using what "sliver of jurisdiction" the court has to do so.

Immigrants such as Kambo, in Texas on valid visas, are subject to broad discretion by the Justice Department under post-9/11 detention laws.

Federal Judge Orders Sierra Leone Detainee Released - News - MSNBC.com