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Raleigh attorney represented detained journalist

Posted August 3, 2008

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— The U.S. military recently released Bilal Hussein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer working for The Associated Press, after holding him in Iraq for two years.

Hussein was arrested at his Ramadi apartment in April 2006 for suspicious of having ties to terrorists.

Bert Nunley, a Raleigh attorney, was among those who fought for Hussein's release.

“At the end of 2007, I was contacted by some people out of New York City and asked if I'd be willing to help the Associate Press free Bilal Hussein,” Nunley said.

Nunley, who is also a retired Marine colonel, began working with a team of lawyers to free Hussein. He traveled to Baghdad to meet with Hussein.

“To see the smile on his face was worth a lot,” he said of seeing Hussein. "He was just so happy to see someone who had traveled all the way from the U.S. to help him."

After three weeks in the war-torn country, Nunley returned to the U.S., but never stopped working on the case.

"Everything that they (the U.S. government) said Bilal did that would make him a terrorist or a person who was part of the terrorist propaganda over there, had a very plausible and easy explanation," Nunley said.

In April, Hussein was released after never being charged with a crime.  He is currently living in Beirut.


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