German wins damages over rendition flights

27th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Lebanese-born Khaled el-Masri, a victim of the CIA's so-called secret rendition flights, claimed compensation from Macedonia's government for the three weeks he spent imprisoned there.

Berlin -- A German national, who was abducted by the CIA in Macedonia in 2004 and flown to Afghanistan for interrogation on terrorism charges, won 50,000 euros in damages from Skopje, his lawyer said Monday.

Lebanese-born Khaled el-Masri, a victim of the CIA's so-called secret rendition flights, claimed compensation from Macedonia's government for the three weeks he spent imprisoned there, Manfred Gnjidic told AFP.

El-Masri also filed lawsuits against the United States, whose Supreme Court upheld a decision to reject his case on national security grounds in 2007, and Spain where he had been due to be taken to for questioning.

Gnjidic said his client was beaten and bullied for five months without explanation in Afghanistan before being freed.

He added that el-Masri's detention and interrogation at the hands of the CIA left him traumatised and caused him to seek psychological help after he set fire to a supermarket.

Rendition flights, whereby terrorism suspects are transferred covertly to a third country or to US-run detention centres, started after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

AFP/Expatica

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