Berlin: A German court rejected a lawsuit filed by Khalid Al Masri seeking
to force Berlin into prosecuting suspected CIA agents he alleges illegally
detained him nearly eight years ago as part of the US rendition programme.
The Cologne Administrative Court, in a ruling on December 7, supported Berlin's
decision not to seek the Americans' extradition after Washington told the
Germans in 2007 it would reject any attempts to prosecute its agents, citing
national security concerns. The ruling was published on Friday.
The court ruled that "the German government's decision not to seek the
extradition of the agents, despite the arrest warrant issued by a German court,
Al Masri, 44, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, says he was illegally
detained by CIA agents while entering Macedonia on New Year's Eve 2003 and then
transferred to a CIA-run prison in Afghanistan, where he says he was beaten,
sodomised and injected with drugs.
Five months later, Al Masri says he was dumped on a hilltop in Albania.
US officials have never publicly commented on the case, but diplomatic cables
recently obtained and released by WikiLeaks show US Embassy staffers in 2007
warned the German government that issuing the warrants "would have a negative
impact on our bilateral relationship."
Al Masri has one month to lodge an appeal with a higher court. His attorney was
not immediately available for comment.