Settlng in: Khalil Manut, with two of his fellow Uighurs looking on, samples local transportation.  *Photo by Earl Robinson
Settlng in: Khalil Manut, with two of his fellow Uighurs looking on, samples local transportation. *Photo by Earl Robinson
The four Guantanamo refugees will be prepared to put up a legal fight if they are asked to leave Bermuda, their lawyer has told the Bermuda Sun.

After years in captivity, and finally tasting freedom, the men would be "heartbroken" to have to move on, said Sabin Willett.

Governor Sir Richard Gozney raised the

possibility the men may not be allowed to stay when he said on Wednesday he has asked Government to "consider carefully their next steps."

Sir Richard said there is no way the men would be returned to Guantanamo Bay, but said there were "other options" being discussed by Britain,

Bermuda and the U.S.

Mr. Willett said the men sincerely hope they are allowed to stay in Bermuda. He told us: "I do know that the men would be heartbroken. They have been so relieved at the

welcome they have received on a personal level from Bermudians. They are delighted to be in Bermuda. It is my hope that we can all take a deep breath and let them settle in a bit."

American Mr. Willett has returned to the States. However, he has been following closely the protests directed at Premier Ewart Brown, which were prompted by his almost single-handed decision to allow the refugees asylum on the island. Mr. Willett said it appears to him the backlash is purely political and most Bermudians are morally behind the Uighurs being here. He said he hoped those Bermudians who are against the refugees will soon change their minds. He said: "Let a little time pass. Let them see these are hardworking, decent fellows."

Mr. Willett has also been following the revelations by the Commissioner of Police, George Jackson, that he has not yet received the documents necessary to do a comprehensive background check on the four Uighurs.

Security checks

In the meantime the four men have been categorized "high risk" by default, until they can be proved otherwise. Comprehensive security checks on the four men have been carried out by U.S. authorities and Mr. Willett offered to help Bermudian authorities in any way he can. He said: "We reached out to the police commissioner and governor to say we are an open book. Whatever meetings they want, whatever information they need, let's do it.

"We haven't heard back from them on that, but they are very busy. I'm happy to sit down and address any concerns they have. This is one of those things where people need to talk to one another."

Sir Richard and London knew nothing of the Guantanamo refugees' arrival until they were already on the island. Sir Richard said on Wednesday he had subsequently met with Dr. Brown and told him his actions were "unacceptable." He said he had told Government "they should now consider carefully their next steps" with regards the refugees. Sir Richard added: "Does that mean asking the four to leave? Well, they cannot and should not go back to Guantanamo." However, he said there were "other options" being actively discussed between the U.K., Bermuda and the U.S. He would not go into what those options are, for fear of jeopardizing their chances of success. Asked if one of the options was for the men to remain in Bermuda, Sir Richard said he would neither confirm or deny that was an option.

Asked about the possibility of fighting any effort to remove the men from Bermuda, Mr. Willett said he had engaged a Bermuda counsel to handle the refugees' affairs on the island. He said: "We would have to take advice from our Bermuda counsel. It hasn't come to that yet, and I hope it won't.

"I hope we can all take a deep breath and let these men settle in and begin life in Bermuda."