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Aid workers trial to resume



ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- The trial for eight Western aid workers, accused by the Taliban of proselytizing, is scheduled to resume Saturday.

Pakistani attorney Atif Ali Khan, who is trying to secure the release of the detainees, is scheduled to visit the aid workers in Afghanistan and meet with Taliban court officials Saturday.

"The Taliban have been very forthcoming on this and have assured me all cooperation on meeting the detainees to get to know their court process," Khan said.

Taliban foreign ministry officials told Khan that the detainees -- two Americans, four Germans and two Australians -- are safe and have been moved to another detention center for their own protection.

The Taliban accuses them of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity, a violation of Taliban law.

They have been held by the Taliban for nearly two months.

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Most international humanitarian aid workers left Afghanistan after the September 11 terror attacks in the United States, under the possibility of a U.S. reprisal.

Diplomats from the United States, Germany and Australia who had been seeking the release of the aid workers also left the country.

Earlier this month, the diplomats met with Taliban officials in Kabul to try to secure the release of the aid workers, who were arrested in early August.

Family members of some of the aid workers were allowed to visit them for the first time on September 1. Since then, no Western officials have seen them.

The aid workers are members of the Shelter Now International assistance group. Sixteen Afghan aid workers have also been arrested and are charged with the same crime.

The Afghan Foreign Ministry has not indicated when the Afghans might face trial. Their cases are being dealt with separately from their Western counterparts.



 
 
 
 



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