Abduction warrants against CIA causes row

5th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

5 January 2007, Berlin/Washington (dpa) - A row over the alleged abduction by CIA agents of a German-Lebanese citizen suspected of terrorism is damaging US-German relations, the news magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday. The report says high-ranking US diplomats have complained to the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel about a German government decision to proceed to applying for international arrest warrants for 13 CIA officers. The decision follows a warrant issued by a Munich court regarding Lebanese-

5 January 2007

Berlin/Washington (dpa) - A row over the alleged abduction by CIA agents of a German-Lebanese citizen suspected of terrorism is damaging US-German relations, the news magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday.

The report says high-ranking US diplomats have complained to the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel about a German government decision to proceed to applying for international arrest warrants for 13 CIA

officers.

The decision follows a warrant issued by a Munich court regarding Lebanese-born Khaled El-Masri.

Masri alleges he was seized in Macedonia on December 31, 2003, secretly detained for five months in Kabul, Afghanistan, then dumped by his captors in Albania.

His lawyers say he is an innocent victim of the CIA practice of the "extraordinary rendition" of terrorism suspects that has caused intense controversy in several European countries.

The diplomatic offensive followed a German government request, despite strong political reservations, to Interpol to arrest the agents on charges of abduction and causing serious bodily harm.

Interpol has since issued warrants for 10 of the 13 agents.

On Friday, a US appeals court refused to allow Masri's lawsuit against former CIA director George Tenet to go to court.

The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia upheld the decision of a lower court in May that said a trial could reveal state secrets and endanger national security.

The suit charges Tenet knew Masri had been held even after the agency had realized his capture was a mistake.

Masri says his main goal is an apology from the US government. He is also seeking damages of at least 75,000 dollars.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Masri, said it was disappointed with the decision and would consider an appeal to the US Supreme Court.

DPA

Subject: German news

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