Binyam to sue company over rendition flight

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The Independent Online

An American court has cleared the way for two British residents released from Guantanamo Bay to sue a subsidiary of the international aviation company Boeing over complicity in their rendition.

The lawsuit, brought by five men including Binyam Mohamed and Bisher al-Rawi, alleges that Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc, a California-based company, knowingly provided extensive flight services that enabled the CIA to carry out the renditions. The US government sought to intervene in the case and asserted "state secrets privilege" on behalf of itself and Jeppesen. Under US constitutional law, the government can claim state secrets privilege when "there is a reasonable danger that compulsion of the evidence will expose military matters which, in the interest of national security, should not be divulged".

But yesterday a US Federal Court rejected this defence and instructed the District Court to proceed with the case. Lawyers for Mr Mohamed began legal action against Jeppesen in 2007 for its alleged role in the illegal transfer of prisoners between secret overseas detention centres. The company is said to have supplied logistical support and to have profited from a lucrative contract in transporting prisoners.

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