US abuse suspect seeks witnesses

A former CIA operative accused of beating an Afghan prisoner who died in custody wants to call the US attorney-general and a former head of the CIA as witnesses.

The prisoner had originally turned himself in to US authorities
The prisoner had originally turned himself in to US authorities

According to court documents unsealed on Tuesday, David Passaro wants to subpoena Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales and former CIA chief George Tenet to prove he acted under government authority.

The court documents were unsealed following a petition by news organisations who said in a request filed last month that the government was engaged in a secret prosecution of Passaro, a former Special Forces soldier.

Passaro, 38, is charged with four counts of assault. He is accused of beating Abd al-Wali with his hands, feet and a large flashlight while the prisoner was interrogated for
two days at a US base in Afghanistan in June 2003.

Abd al-Wali had turned himself in to US forces, who sought him as a suspect in rocket attacks on the base. He later died in custody.

Passaro is the first civilian prosecuted on charges of mistreating a military detainee in the US war on terrorism.

Source : News Agencies

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