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Abu Ghraib ex-inmates' lawsuit moves ahead in federal court

After nine years of fits and starts, dismissals and reinstatements, a federal lawsuit filed by one-time inmates at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq against civilian interrogators who worked there is moving ahead.

"We're not dismissing this case. It's going to go forward," U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema said at the conclusion of a hearing Friday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. She said she'll issue a written ruling at a later date outlining her rationale.

The three inmates who are plaintiffs in the case allege the CACI interrogators directed a conspiracy in which they ordered military police to soften up the detainees for questioning with tactics that amounted to torture, including beatings, sleep deprivation, forced nudity and sexual humiliation.

The lawsuit has been dismissed multiple times, only to be reinstated each time by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond…

Brinkema reiterated at Friday's hearing that CACI would be held responsible for unlawful conduct, even if it was carried out at the military's behest…

CACI maintains it is not liable, in part because its interrogators were not the ones who inflicted the punishment on the inmates…

"The court has sent an important message that there can be accountability for torture, a vital step for our clients who have yet to see justice," Azmy [the plaintiffs' lawyer] said.

Part of the following stories

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

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)