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US rejects Germany bid for extradition of CIA agents in el-Masri rendition

[JURIST] A German Justice Ministry official said Saturday that US officials have confirmed that there are no plans to extradite 13 CIA agents wanted in Germany on suspicion of playing a role in the alleged 2003 kidnapping and extraordinary rendition of German national Khalid el-Masri [JURIST news archive]. German prosecutors said in June they would seek extradition [JURIST report] of the agents, but a German Justice Ministry spokesperson told Der Spiegel that after being informed by the Bush administration that the extradition request would be denied, German officials have decided not to press a formal request.

El-Masri alleges that CIA agents kidnapped him while on vacation in Macedonia in 2003 and transferred him to Afghanistan, where he was held in a secret prison for five months and subjected to inhumane conditions and coercive interrogation. He was released in Albania in 2004 without apology or funds to return to Germany. El-Masri sued [ACLU materials] various CIA officials in 2005, arguing that they violated international human rights law in his rendition to Afghanistan. A US federal appeals court upheld [JURIST report] the dismissal of that lawsuit in March 2007, ruling that the case could not be heard in a US court because of the state secrets privilege [Sourcewatch backgrounder]. AP has more.

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