German court challenges C.I.A. over abduction
A German court issued the arrest warrant of 13 people involved in the kidnapping and torture of a German citizen of Lebanese descent, according to the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/01/world/europe/01germany.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=world).
The courts say the 13 people are C.I.A. agents, although they refused to release the names of any suspects.
Prosecutors said the C.I.A. seized the man, Khaled el-Masri, in Macedonia in 2003 and brought him to Afghanistan, based on "alleged" links to al-Qaeda.
Prosectuors say Masri was imprisoned, interrogated, and beaten for five months, before being released without charges.
Masri's case is an example of the C.I.A.'s practice of "extraordinary rendition," in which terrorism suspects are sent to other countries and often tortured in order to extract information.
C.I.A. officials denied comment on Wednesday.
In Germany, suspects cannot be tried in absentia and it is unlikely the Bush adminstration will extradite the suspects.
The case has serious implications for German-United States relations, which both Chancellor Merkel and President Bush have recently been trying to mend.
According to the BBC, investigators believe most of the suspects used code names. They are currently focused on determining the real names of the suspects (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6316369.stm)
The New York Times article attributes most of its information to German prosecutors. In contrast, the BBC attributes most of its basic information to Mr. Masri. The Times article uses quotes sparingly, quoting Stern, the prosecutor, and a member of German parliament.
I felt the Times article could've used at least one quote from a United States source, despite the fact that the C.I.A. declined to comment. I also thought the middle section of the article, which discusses how this case could hurt U.S.-German relations, needed a quoted source to add some addtional perspective. It seemed like speculation.
The BBC article ignores the political implications of the case, instead focusing mainly on the perspective on Masri and his lawyer. It lacked the depth of the Times article.