German court issues arrest warrants for 13 CIA agents accused of kidnapping

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. German court issues arrest warrants for 13 CIA agents

    By Judy Dempsey
    Wednesday, January 31, 2007

    Prosecutors in Munich on Wednesday obtained warrants for 13 CIA agents allegedly involved in the kidnapping of a German citizen, Khaled el-Masri.

    Christian Schmidt-Sommerfeld, the Munich prosecutor, said the warrants had been issued by a local court this week, but it is unclear if the German authorities will be able to have the U.S. agents extradited to Germany.

    The warrants could prove embarrassing and even politically damaging for Germany's Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

    Steinmeier was chief of staff for the former chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, whose coalition government of Social Democrats and Greens had been in power at that time and had taken a tough stance against the U.S. war on terror. After repeatedly denying any knowledge of the Masri case, Steinmeier last year admitted that he had been informed about the case.

    Steinmeier is also under pressure to reveal exactly what his role was in allegedly preventing the release and return to Germany of Murat Kurnaz, a German-born Turkish citizen who had been arrested in Afghanistan in 2001, sent to Afghanistan — where he said he had been abused by German security agents — and then transferred to Guantánamo Bay.

    According to Kurnaz's lawyer, the United States had offered to release Kurnat if the German authorities provided strict security measures, including round-the-clock surveillance. The German government refused to accept those terms, and he was finally returned to Germany in August 2006 after Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded his release.

    The CIA agents are accused of kidnapping and inflicting bodily harm on Masri, who was abducted in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia in December 2003.

    He said that he was drugged, beaten and then flown by the CIA to a detention center in Afghanistan. Masri said he was held there for five months before the U.S. government flew him to Albania and left him there.

    Masri, a Muslim of Lebanese origin who lives in southern Germany, is suing the U.S. authorities for damages.

    According to a report by the Spanish authorities, Masri was kidnapped by the group of 13 CIA agents who were traveling aboard a Boeing 737. The plane left Mallorca on Jan. 23, 2004, picked up Masri in Macedonia and continued on to Afghanistan.
  2. My question is how did the germans find out it was the CIA. How did they learn the names of the agents? Why would our government hang the agents out to dry?
  3. That is a very valid question. I hope the Germans provide clear and documented evidence that this was done by Americans employed by the CIA. However, if that is true and the laws were broken, then the agents should be extradited (if there is a extradition treaty between Germany and the US - I have not looked that up) to face a court of laws there. In a nutshell, if anyone broke German laws in Germany should face the courts over there and let the legal system take its course.
  4. I have to disagree. This kind of thing is handled diplomatically, not by some ambitious local prosecutor. The man was not picked up in Germany but in Macedonia.