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Lawsuit alleges CIA torture preceded memo

Associated Press / April 24, 2009
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NEWARK - A Tunisian man detained after the Sept. 11 attacks was tortured at CIA-operated prisons in Afghanistan before a Justice Department memo sanctioned the practices, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday.

The suit, filed in US District Court in Newark, is believed to be the first to allege acts of torture were committed before the secret Aug. 1, 2002, memo that approved harsh interrogation methods.

According to the lawsuit, Rafiq Alhami was arrested in Iran in November 2001 and taken to Afghanistan to three CIA "dark sites" where "his presence and his existence were unknown to everyone except his detainers."

Beginning in December 2001, Alhami was tortured repeatedly, the lawsuit claims.