Friday 7 September 2007

Marty Submits Brief to US Supreme Court in El Masry case

Swiss Senator Dick Marty, who has investigated secret detentions on behalf of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), today submitted a brief to the US Supreme Court arguing that ‘virtually nothingÈ remains secret concerning the mistaken kidnapping of German citizen Khaled El-Masri by the CIA. The US government’s contention that state secrets would be revealed if the case was heard is therefore ‘wholly unwarranted’, Marty says in his amicus curiae brief . ‘It would be contrary to the purpose of the state secrets doctrine (...) to allow the US government to shield its clearly wrongful acts on the basis of that doctrine’, writes Marty, arguing that El-Masri should be given the chance to prove his allegations in an American court, as promised by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a December 2005 press conference.

El-Masri spent five months in secret jails in Skopje and Kabul before being released blind-folded in an Albanian forest after it was realised he had been kidnapped in error. He is seeking damages for his illegal abduction and detention but lower courts have ruled that his claims cannot be heard without compromising US national security. The Supreme Court is soon to decide on his appeal.

The full brief is available at:

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