Thursday, May 18

Judge Dismisses Suit by Man Who Says He Was Tortured


ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) -- A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by a German man who said he was illegally detained and tortured in overseas prisons run by the CIA, ruling that a lawsuit would improperly expose state secrets.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III makes no determination on the validity of the claims by Khaled al-Masri, who said he was kidnapped on New Year's Eve 2003 and detained in various overseas prisons for nearly five months before finally being dumped on an abandoned road in Albania.

During his detention, he said he was beaten and sodomized with a foreign object by his captors. He also alleges that a CIA team forced him to wear a diaper, drugged him and refused to contact German authorities about his arrest.

Ellis said he was satisfied after receiving a secret written briefing from the director of central intelligence that allowing al-Masri's lawsuit to proceed would harm national security.

"In the present circumstances, al-Masri's private interests must give way to the national interest in preserving state secrets," Ellis wrote.