Sunday, June 14, 2009

Judge Allows Civil Lawsuit Over Claims of Torture

NY Times June 13, 2009 By JOHN SCHWARTZ
Published: June 13, 2009

The decision issued late Friday by a judge in San Francisco allowing a civil lawsuit to go forward against a former Bush administration official, John C. Yoo, might seem like little more than the removal of a procedural roadblock. But lawyers for the man suing Mr. Yoo, Jose Padilla, say it provides substantive interpretation of constitutional issues for all detainees and could have a broad impact.

Mr. Padilla, a Brooklyn-born convert to Islam, was arrested in June 2002 and initially charged with taking part in a plot by Al Qaeda to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb” in the United States. After his time in the brig, the government tried him in Miami, and in 2007, he and two co-defendants were found guilty of conspiracy to murder, kidnap and maim people in a foreign country. Mr. Padilla was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison.

Judge White, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, rejected all but one of Mr. Yoo’s immunity claims and found that Mr. Padilla “has alleged sufficient facts to satisfy the requirement that Yoo set in motion a series of events that resulted in the deprivation of Padilla’s constitutional rights.”
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