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El-Masri asks appeals court to reinstate CIA extraordinary rendition case

[JURIST] Lawyers for German national Khalid el-Masri [JURIST news archive; ACLU case materials] argued Wednesday before the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that his civil case against the CIA for his alleged 2003 extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] from Macedonia and his subsequent detention in Afghanistan should be reinstated [ACLU press release; ACLU press conference recorded video]. A federal judge in May dismissed the lawsuit [order, PDF; JURIST report] on the grounds that it would reveal state secrets. El-Masri's ACLU attorneys argued that details of el-Masri's allegations and of a subsequent CIA investigation are already public knowledge, and that without a trial, the CIA will escape punishment for clearly illegal conduct. El-Masri claims the CIA held him at a secret Afghanistan prison for five months, subjecting him to inhumane conditions and coercive interrogation, and eventually released him in Albania in 2004 without charge.

In October, el-Masri testified before a Spanish judge [JURIST report] as part of a Spanish investigation [JURIST report] into whether the CIA used Spanish airports to transport el-Masri to countries where they could legally torture him. In June, a German investigator concluded that no evidence had surfaced to disprove el-Masri's story [JURIST report]. The New York Times has more.

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