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Ex-Guantanamo Bay inmate free to sue Canberra over `torture`

Last Updated: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 14:31

Sydney: A former Guantanamo Bay detainee on Thursday won the right to sue the Australian government for complicity in interrogations in which he alleged he was tortured, beaten and shackled to the floor.
Egyptian-born Mamdouh Habib says Australian spies, diplomats and police officers were present during at least 12 of the sessions.

The interrogations took place between the time of his arrest in Pakistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States and his eventual release from the Cuban "war on terror" prison in January 2005.

Habib says electrocution, burning, sleep deprivation and drug injections were among the techniques he suffered in Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, and is seeking compensation from the Australian government.

Canberra lodged a counter-suit against Habib in the Federal Court saying it was beyond the powers of an Australian judge to hear a case about the actions of foreign officials, as alleged by him.

But a three-judge panel on Thursday ruled their argument invalid, clearing the way for Habib to mount a compensation case against the government.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 14:31
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