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Last Updated: Monday, 4 June 2007, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Guantanamo inmate sues US company
Binyam Mohamed
Binyam Mohamed is currently in Guantanamo Bay
A British resident held by the US is suing a company for allegedly organising flights that took him to Guantanamo Bay.

UK-based legal charity Reprieve has filed the claim for Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian who lived in the UK, who claims he was tortured at the camp.

Legal papers have been filed in California against Jeppesen Dataplan, a subsidiary of Boeing.

Jeppesen said it cannot confirm if it was involved with the flights.

A spokesman for the Colorado-based firm told the BBC News website: "We have thousands of customers who fly tens of thousands of flights every day and with each one of them they have a reasonable expectation that their operations will be kept confidential."

Reprieve alleged Jeppesen was involved in the Central Intelligence Agency's "extraordinary rendition" of foreign nationals for detention and interrogation in overseas sites.

Reprieve, which provides legal representation to 37 prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, said it was the first time a corporation has been sued over the rendition flights.

It is bringing the case with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Corporations should expect to get sued where they are making blood money off the suffering of others
Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve

The lawsuit against Jeppesen claimed the services they provided were crucial to the flights.

A report approved by a European Parliament committee earlier this year said more than 1,000 covert CIA flights had crossed European airspace or stopped at European airports in the four years after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Reprieve says Jeppesen's participation included securing necessary landing and overflight permits for the flights between the US, Pakistan, Ireland, Cyprus, Morocco, and Afghanistan.

Terror claims

The legal charity also said Jeppesen helped to arrange fuel and ground handling for the aircraft and paid fees for the crew.

Mr Mohammed was born in Ethiopia but sought asylum in the UK in 1994 and was given leave to remain. He lived in London for seven years.

The US authorities claimed he planned to travel to the US and blow up an apartment block.

He was arrested by Pakistani immigration officials at Karachi airport in April 2002 when intending to return to the UK.

He was taken to Morocco in July 2002 where he claims he was tortured for 18 months before being taken to Afghanistan in January 2004. He was then sent to Guantanamo.

The claim for damages is being made on his behalf and for two other men - Abou Elkassim Britel, an Italian citizen imprisoned in Morocco and Egyptian Ahmed Agiza, now jailed in Egypt.

Reprieve's legal director Clive Stafford Smith said: "Jeppesen's motto is 'Making Every Mission Possible'. There are some missions that should never take place, and torture is one of them.

"Corporations should expect to get sued where they are making blood money off the suffering of others."


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