German ex-terror suspect sues CIA for damages

29th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

29 November 2006, Washington (dpa) - A German national who says he was captured by the CIA and held for five months in an Afghan jail was fighting for damages from the US intelligence agency Tuesday in an appeals court. The case of Khaled el-Masri, 42, born in Lebanon and a German citizen since 1995, sparked a parliamentary investigation in Germany over how much government officials knew of his detention and when. El-Masri says he was detained on December 31, 2003, in Macedonia on suspicion of terrorist ac

29 November 2006

Washington (dpa) - A German national who says he was captured by the CIA and held for five months in an Afghan jail was fighting for damages from the US intelligence agency Tuesday in an appeals court.

The case of Khaled el-Masri, 42, born in Lebanon and a German citizen since 1995, sparked a parliamentary investigation in Germany over how much government officials knew of his detention and when.

El-Masri says he was detained on December 31, 2003, in Macedonia on suspicion of terrorist activities, as part of the CIA's controversial extraordinary rendition policy, but he was released five months later after the CIA apparently realized they had the wrong man.

A hearing at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, was set to decide whether el-Masri's lawsuit - against former CIA director George Tenet and other intelligence officials - could go to trial, after a lower court in May declined the case because it could jeopardize state secrets.

El-Masri is seeking damages of at least 75,000 dollars on allegations of unlawful capture, imprisonment, torture and other human rights violations. A decision is expected next week, a spokesman for the Richmond court said.

El-Masri, who was in court for the hearing Tuesday, said he had come to the US to seek three things. These are, "An acknowledgement that the United States government is responsible for kidnapping, abusing and detaining me; an explanation as to why I was singled out for this treatment; and an apology because I am an innocent man who has never been charged with any crime," he said in a statement from civil liberties group ACLU, which is representing him.

DPA

Subject: German news

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