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Supreme Court rejects el-Masri rendition case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday denied [order, PDF] without comment the petition for certiorari filed by Khaled el-Masri [JURIST news archive] against the US government, ostensibly supporting the Bush administration's contention that allowing el-Masri's lawsuit [complaint, PDF; ACLU materials] to proceed would require the revelation of state secrets. El-Masri, a German national of Lebanese descent, claims that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] kidnapped him while he was traveling to Macedonia in 2003, and transported him to a secret detention facility in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was held for four months. According to the lawsuit, el-Masri was released in Albania in 2004 without charge or funds to return to Germany. El-Masri also alleges that CIA agents beat, stripped, and bound him during the flight to Kabul. Former CIA director George Tenet has said that he does not believe el-Masri's claims, while the Bush administration has neither confirmed nor denied that he was subject to the extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive]. The lawsuit represents an appeal from the decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to uphold [JURIST report] the dismissal of the case because of the state secrets privilege enjoyed by the government.

Last month, the German Justice Ministry said that it would not press a formal request [JURIST report] to extradite the 13 CIA agents suspected of participating in el-Masri's alleged rendition after the Bush administration informed them it would not comply with such a request. In June 2006, a German investigator concluded that no evidence had surfaced to disprove el-Masri's story [JURIST report], though German officials have denied [JURIST report] that Germany had any knowledge of the alleged kidnapping. El-Masri was ordered [JURIST report] to a psychiatric institution earlier this year for suspicion of arson. AP has more.

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