German who claimed to be CIA torture victim detained...


German who claimed to be CIA torture victim detained on suspicion of arson.

BERLIN: A German citizen of Lebanese descent who claimed the CIA kidnapped and tortured him in an Afghan prison has been detained on suspicion of arson and sent to a psychiatric ward, police said Thursday.

Khaled el-Masri, 43, was taken into custody at a wholesale market in the southern German town of Neu-Ulm after the 4:45 a.m. (0245 GMT) blaze and a judge ordered his admission to a hospital psychiatric ward, police said.

"We don't know the motive for his offense," police inspector Alfons Wagner told The Associated Press. "But we know that el-Masri was admitted to the psychiatric ward of the hospital."

El-Masri was under suspicion of setting fire to the entrance of the market after having destroyed its glass door, a police statement said. Smoke and water caused around €500,000 (US$680,000) in damage.

El-Masri's lawyer Manfred Gnjidic told the AP that his client had "a complete nervous breakdown."

"Torture victims have to be in therapy," Gnjidic said, adding that for three years he tried unsuccessfully to get el-Masri into a therapy program but nobody supported him.

The online edition of daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung said el-Masri had had an argument with the market about an electronic device he had bought there earlier.

In March, a U.S. federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, refused to reinstate a lawsuit by el-Masri, who claimed the CIA tortured him in a prison in Afghanistan, ruling that the case could jeopardize national security by disclosing state secrets.


No damage done there if were to extend the specific to the general...microcosm for macrocosm...
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