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Berlin reiterates stance on CIA kidnapping of German citizen

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Dec 7, IRNA
Germany-CIA-Kidnapping
German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm reaffirmed statements by Chancellor Angela Merkel who said the US has confessed to making a mistake in kidnapping a German national and jailing him in a secret prison in Afghanistan.

"Yesterday's remarks by the federal chancellor who said the US has accepted the (Khaled) al-Masri case was a mistake, are valid," the spokesperson told the press here in Berlin.

"The statements by the chancellor and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are not that far apart," added Wilhelm.

At a joint news conference with Rice in Berlin on Tuesday, Merkel said, "The case of Masri was accepted by the US as a mistake." However top American officials denied later in the day that Rice had made such a confession.

The kidnapping case of Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese origin, has become a major embarrassment in Merkel's rapprochement efforts with the US.

Meanwhile Al-Masri has filed a legal suit against the CIA in the US and Germany.

Al-Masri was kidnapped by the CIA in Macedonia on December 31, 2003 and flown to Afghanistan where he was tortured during his five-month prison stay.

The German victim was later released because US officials had mixed him up with a terror suspect also named Khaled el-Masri.

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