Abducted Muslim by CIA sues Macedonia for €50000

German man of Lebanese descent who says he was kidnapped and tortured by the CIA has sued Macedonia for 50,000 euros.

Abducted Muslim by CIA sues Macedonia for €50000

German man of Lebanese descent who says he was kidnapped and tortured by the CIA has sued Macedonia for 50,000 euros, saying their agents wrongly imprisoned and abused him, officials said on Monday.

The civil lawsuit was the latest international legal battle by Khaled el-Masri, who said he was abducted in Macedonia in December 2003 and later flown to Afghanistan and tortured.

He was eventually released in Albania months later.

The case drew wide attention to the Central Intelligence Agency's extraordinary rendition under former U.S. President George Bush.

"We are asking for damages for the time that he spent here, for the torture he suffered here in Macedonia for 24 days," Filip Medarski, his lawyer in Macedonia, said in a telephone interview. "We are asking for 50,000 euros."

"The court does not give large amounts for such things."

Medarski said Masri was travelling to Macedonia in late December 2003 to celebrate the new year as a tourist and perhaps to purchase a car. He was held in a hotel near the U.S. Embassy in the capital Skopje and illegaly questioned about ties to al Qaeda.

The latest lawsuit says Macedonia violated provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, including on torture, liberty and respect for human rights.

Masri had previously lost a U.S. lawsuit against the CIA and others in which he sought at least $75,000 -- slightly more than the amount sought from Macedonia.

The complaint was mailed on Saturday and would probably be received by the Macedonian court on Monday, the lawyer said.

Macedonia's justice ministry did not immediately return calls for comment. Government officials have said little in the past about the incident.

"In effect, the government of Macedonia has adopted an 'official line' of complete negation, repeated in a rigid and stereotyped fashion," the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly said in a 2006 report.

U.S. President Barack Obama last week ordered the closure of illegal Guantanamo military prison, a crackdown on torture and abuse methods and the elimination of secret CIA detention centres.

Reuters
Last Mod: 26 Ocak 2009, 16:42
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