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26 Oct 2010

Larry O'Dell, Associated Press

Abu Ghraib contractors seek civil immunity

The same principles that protect U.S. soldiers from being sued by enemy combatants apply to private contractors hired to help conduct a war, attorneys for two companies that provided interrogators at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq told a federal appeals court Tuesday. Attorneys for…CACI International Inc. and…L-3 Communications Corp. urged a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse rulings by two lower courts denying them immunity from lawsuits by alleged torture victims at Abu Ghraib. A lawyer for Iraqi detainees argued that even in a war context, private companies can be sued for actions not authorized by their contracts with the government — in this case, the abuse of prisoners.