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USA/Germany: Wikileaks Cables reveal pressure on Germany not to prosecute CIA agents

last updated Nov 30, 2010

In the course of the publication of 251,287 United States embassy cables on Wikileaks, one communication exchange between U.S. and German officials has revealed more on the United States’ practice of torture. In 2007,the U.S. State Department has warned Germany that issuing arrest warrants for CIA officers involved in the arrest of Khalid El-Masri would have a “negative impact” on the two countries’ relationship.

Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen, was mistakenly arrested in Macedonia in 2003 due to a similarity of names with a suspected al-Qaida terrorist. El-Masri was taken to a secret prison in Afghanistan for interrogation where he was allegedly tortured by CIA officials. After the interrogators realised that they had caught the wrong man, El-Masri was dumped on the side of a road in Albania in May 2004. The lawsuit El-Masri filed against the U.S. government was dismissed due to the States Secrets Protection Act.

According to the communications published on Wikileaks, Deputy Chief of Mission John M. Koenig urged the German authorities not to execute its own laws. A similar case of intervention has come to light when the United States tried to restrain Italian officials from prosecuting 23 CIA agents involved in the kidnapping of Abu Omar, a terrorist suspect, who was eventually released without charge after allegedly having been tortured in an Egyptian prison.

Wikileaks Cable 07BERLIN242

Human Rights First: Wikileaks Cables Reveal Deep Repercussions of Bush Torture Policy

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