Germany’s victim of extraordinary rendition sues in US courts as Rice is forced on defensive


From The Independent

When Khaled al Masri took the bus from Ulm to Macedonia two years ago, his only objective was to cool off after a row with his wife.

But his troubles were only beginning. At the Serb-Macedonian border crossing he was hauled off the coach and handed over to three men in civilian clothes carrying handguns. His name – identical to one of the 11 September hijackers – had lit up a police computer.

The German citizen did not know it at the time, but he was starting out on a journey into the darkest heart of America’s war on terror. His ordeal would last five months, where, unknown to his family and friends, he would be trussed up, tortured and abused before being dumped in Albania, fearing he was to be shot.

The controversy over secret CIA flights, torture and illegal imprisonment, continues to rage across Europe. Yesterday saw the extraordinary spectacle of Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, acknowledging the CIA’s “mistake” to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

And in London, the former Law Lord and judge Lord Steyn said that “if British authorities knew the nature of these flights they would be guilty of war crimes”.

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