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

    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: Agencies


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