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US judge rules Abu Ghraib abuse lawsuit can proceed against defense contractor

[JURIST] The US District Court for the District of Columbia denied a motion [order, PDF; press release] Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit against CACI International [corporate website], an American military contractor being sued over its alleged involvement in the torture of prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive]. Judge James Robertson did however dismiss a similar lawsuit against Titan [corporate website], another military contractor that provided translators to the US Army. Robertson concluded that the military exclusively supervised and controlled Titan contractors, relieving Titan of liability, whereas "a reasonable trier of fact could conclude that CACI retained significant authority to manage its employees," who worked as interrogators for the US military.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights brought a racketeering lawsuit [JURIST report; CCR materials] in 2004 against the two civilian defense contractors, accusing the companies of conspiring to torture, rape and kill Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. CACI and Titan both sought protection under federal laws that shield the government from lawsuits filed as a result of military activities during wartime. AP has more.

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