US judge rejects German's CIA abduction lawsuit

19th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

19 May 2006, WASHINGTON - A US judge Thursday dismissed a German citizen's lawsuit that claims he was kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured by the CIA because the US mistakenly believed he was a terror suspect.

19 May 2006

WASHINGTON -  A US judge Thursday dismissed a German citizen's lawsuit that claims he was kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured by the CIA because the US mistakenly believed he was a terror suspect.

US District Judge Thomas S. Ellis III accepted the US government's argument that letting Khaled El-Masri's case proceed toward a possible trial would risk exposing state secrets.

The suit by El-Masri, a Lebanese-born German national, accuses former CIA director George Tenet and three US-based aviation companies of breaking US and international law, drawing attention to highly disputed US practices in the fight against terrorism.

Ellis ruled that the US government's "claim of the state secrets privilege is valid" and ordered the lawsuit dismissed, according to a copy of the opinion by the Alexandria, Virginia, judge.

However, he ruled that if the allegations are "true or essentially true," El-Masri "deserves a remedy." He did not specify what that might be, adding that it would have to come from the government, not US courts.

El-Masri brought the lawsuit last year with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, a human rights group.

DPA

Subject: German news

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