BOISE, Idaho - A federal appeals court delivered a stinging rebuke yesterday to the Bush administration's post-Sept. 11 detention policies, ruling that former Attorney General John Ashcroft can be held liable for people who were wrongfully detained as material witnesses in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said the government's improper use of material witnesses was "repugnant to the Constitution and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history."
The court found that a man who was detained as a witness in a federal terrorism case can sue Ashcroft for allegedly violating his constitutional rights. Abdullah al-Kidd, a U.S. citizen and former University of Idaho student, filed the lawsuit against Ashcroft and other officials in 2005, claiming his civil rights were violated when he was detained as a material witness for two weeks in 2003 and then placed under court supervision.
Kidd said the investigation and detention not only caused him to lose a scholarship to study in Saudi Arabia but also cost him employment opportunities and caused his marriage to fall apart.
He argued that his detention exemplified an illegal government policy created by Ashcroft to arrest and detain people - particularly Muslim men and those of Arab decent - as material witnesses if the government suspected them of a crime but had no evidence to charge them.
Ashcroft had asked the judge to dismiss the matter, saying that because his position at the Department of Justice was prosecutorial he was entitled to absolute immunity from the lawsuit.
|Your name: *|
|Your email: *|
|Recepient's email: *|
|Enter code: *|
Win Win Websites Promotion
Jobs in Hong Kong
Sales Jobs in HK