JURIST Sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh
PAPER CHASE NEWSBURSTDigest RSS feedFull RSS feed
Serious law. Primary sources. Global perspective.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Judge dismisses el-Masri CIA rendition suit on state secrets grounds
Bernard Hibbitts at 7:18 PM ET

[JURIST] A federal judge Thursday dismissed [order, PDF] a highly-publicized lawsuit [materials] brought by the ACLU against CIA Director George Tenet and other agency officials and employees on behalf of Khalid El-Masri [JURIST news archive], a German national who alleges [el-Masri statement] that he was kidnapped in Macedonia in 2003 in an instance of extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive], held by the CIA in Afghanistan where he was subjected to inhumane conditions and coercive interrogation, and finally released in 2004 and dropped off in Albania without ever being charged. Government attorneys argued [JURIST report] last week before US District Judge T.S. Ellis that the suit could jeopardize US national security interests by exposing CIA methods and activities to the general public, and presented a classified affidavit [public version, PDF text] by former CIA director Porter Goss asserting the executive privilege of the president to protect US state and military secrets. In his decision, Ellis acknowledged that dismissing the suit "deprives el-Masri of an American judicial forum for vindicating his claims", but insisted that "el-Masri's private interests must give way to the national interest...".

The US Supreme Court established the state secrets privilege in the 1953 case United States v. Reynolds [opinion text]. The government invoked the privilege [News Media & The Law commentary] in only four cases between 1953 and 1976, but it has been invoked more than 20 times since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and at least five times in the past year, counting the el-Masri case. El-Masri, a father of five, had sought $75,000 in damages, which his lawyer had suggested could be dropped in exchange for a personal apology from Tenet. Reuters has more.






Link |  | print | subscribe | RSS feeds | latest newscast | Facebook page

For more legal news check the Paper Chase Archive...


LATEST LEGAL NEWS

 Federal appeals court upholds controversial Wisconsin collective bargaining law
3:15 PM ET, April 20

 Egypt court sentences 23 Islamists to prison
2:23 PM ET, April 20

 Proposed Brazil anti-terrorism law sparks human rights concerns
12:41 PM ET, April 20

 click for more...

Get JURIST legal news delivered daily to your e-mail!

LATEST FORUM

Unprecedented Notice of Warrantless Wiretapping in a Closed Case
DOMESTIC
Ramzi Kassem
CUNY School of Law

ABOUT

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.

CONTACT

Paper Chase welcomes comments, tips and URLs from readers. E-mail us at JURIST@jurist.org