Rumsfeld to be sued over alleged torture

A judge is allowing an army veteran who says he was imprisoned unjustly and tortured by the US military in Iraq to sue the former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld personally for damages.

The veteran's identity is withheld in court filings, but he worked for an American contracting company as a translator for the Marines in the volatile Anbar province before being detained for nine months at Camp Cropper, a US military facility near Baghdad airport dedicated to holding "high-value" detainees.

The government says he was suspected of helping get classified information to the enemy and helping anti-coalition forces enter Iraq. But he was never charged with a crime and says he never broke the law.

Lawyers for the man, who is in his 50s, say he was preparing to come home to the US on leave when he was abducted by the military and held without justification while his family knew nothing about his whereabouts or even whether he was still alive.

Court papers filed on his behalf say he was repeatedly abused, then suddenly released without explanation in August 2006. Two years later, he filed a suit in the US District Court in Washington arguing that Mr Rumsfeld personally approved torturous interrogation techniques on a case-by-case basis and controlled his detention without access to courts in violation of his constitutional rights.

He says he always denied any wrongdoing.

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