Guantanamo Detainee Loses Court Case

Court Watch Posted on

 A judge ruled Friday that claims by a former Guantanamo Bay inmate that he was tortured could not be fully believed because his testimony was inconsistent and may have been exaggerated to try to help him win a defamation lawsuit.

But Mamdouh Habib almost certainly was mistreated during his three years of detention without trial in four countries after being arrested in Pakistan in late 2001, during which he suffered extreme stress and trauma, the judge found.

The findings came in a judgment in Habib's case against Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper in which he claimed that the paper defamed him by implying he lied about being tortured.

A jury in 2006 found in Habib's favor, but the paper's publisher, Rupert Murdoch's Nationwide News Pty. Ltd., sought to knock down the case by proving that there was some truth to its article.

On Friday, Justice Peter McClellan of the New South Wales state Supreme Court upheld News' case, and ruled Habib would get no payout. Habib vowed to appeal.

Habib, an Egyptian-born Muslim immigrant, was arrested in late 2001 in Pakistan, where he says he was held for 28 days and interrogated by Americans before he was transferred to Egypt, then six months later to the U.S. military base at Bagram, Afghanistan and then to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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