CIA Scandal: Renditions Victim to Sue German Government
A German-Lebanese victim of the CIA's extraordinary renditions program plans to sue the government in Berlin to force it to issue extradition orders against 13 American intelligence agents involved in his alleged kidnapping.
German-Lebanese renditions victim Khaled el-Masri may sue the German government.
Public prosecutors in Munich issued arrest warrants against the supposed kidnappers in early 2007, but the Justice Ministry decided at the end of the year not to transmit extradition requests to the United States following a major diplomatic offensive by the US Embassy and after concluding that prosecutors would have meager prospects for success.
At the time, the case created serious tensions within the German government coalition of left-leaning Social Democrats (SPD) and the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU). Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU), backed by conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, had threatened to veto the extradition orders if Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries, of the Social Democrats, issued them. Merkel's party had wanted to sidestep a potential trans-Atlantic spat as the government sought a more reconciliatory approach with Washington following the Iraq war.
"The German federal judiciary stopped half way at the time," said ECCHR chief Wolfgang Kaleck. "An arrest warrant for causing the disappearance and torture of a person must be carried out with all force."
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