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22 Sep 2017

Rachel Weiner, Washington Post (USA)

A suit over Abu Ghraib getting to ‘what actually happened’

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Thirteen years after leaving Abu Ghraib prison, and nine years after filing suit in federal court, a group of former Iraqi detainees got to make the case before a judge in Alexandria, Va., on Friday that they were tortured and that the contractor CACI International is partly to blame.

U.S. District Court Judge ­Leonie M. Brinkema declined a request by CACI to dismiss the case Friday, saying she would like to develop a full record of which employees were “on the scene, and what was going on.” She concluded that there is sufficient evidence for the lawsuit to proceed toward a pretrial judgment from the court or come before a jury.

Interrogators working for the contractor, which is based in Arlington, Va., are accused of directing beatings, starvation, sexual violations, sleep deprivation and other abuse of prisoners in the detention facility…

It is the first civil case against U.S. contractors to get to a point where a judge is evaluating allegations of mistreatment. Other lawsuits have been thrown out on procedural grounds…

In their own court papers, CACI’s attorneys argued that the treatment alleged, while “deplorable” and “undoubtedly humiliating,” is “not severe enough to be considered torture.”…

[CACI] said that “the military approved interrogation techniques — including many of the techniques about which Plaintiffs’ complain,” and that there is no evidence CACI employees were involved in any mistreatment…

Part of the following timelines

US judge says lawsuit against CACI over alleged inhuman treatment of ex-Abu Ghraib prisoners in Iraq can proceed

Abu Ghraib lawsuits against CACI, Titan (now L-3)