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Ottawa finally releases Afghan detainee documents just before summer break

OTTAWA -- The Conservative government is releasing 4,000 of some 40,000 classified pages on the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan and says that brings the matter to a close.

About documents detailing the treatment of suspected enemy prisoners are being released more a year after the Harper government almost fell over claims it was turning a blind eye to abuse. Treasury Board President John Baird says the document vetting process cost $12 million and will go no further.

NDP Leader Jack Layton says the real question is: what's the government holding back — and why? The Conservatives' initial refusal to disclose thousands of pages of Foreign Affairs and Defence Department reports prompted a parliamentary crisis two years ago.

Two former Supreme Court justices, a former B.C. judge, and an ad-hoc committee of MPs have combed through the massive file to determine what can be released without endangering national security.

The NDP had no faith in the process and refused to take part.

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