US judge throws out Padilla suit over alleged torture

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 18, 2011 07:58

 
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CHARLESTON, South Carolina — A US federal judge Thursday threw out a lawsuit brought by a man convicted of plotting terrorism and who alleged he was tortured at a Navy brig, saying a trial would create "an international spectacle."

US District Judge Richard Gergel ruled Jose Padilla, arrested as an enemy combatant, had no right to sue for constitutional violations and that the defendants in the case enjoyed qualified immunity.

Padilla claimed he was illegally detained as an enemy combatant and then held in a brig near Charleston where he was tortured. His lawsuit named government and brig officials, including US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Padilla alleged he was tortured by being kept in darkness and isolation, deprived of sleep and religious materials, and kept from family and attorneys.

Padilla, a US citizen, was arrested in 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on suspicion of plotting to set off a radioactive "dirty bomb."

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