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Trial Begins for CIA Interrogator Accused of Beating Afghan Man

08 August 2006

The trial of a CIA interrogator accused of badly beating an Afghan detainee in 2003 has begun in the southeastern state of North Carolina.

Prosecutors say David Passaro used his feet, fists and a 60-centimeter flashlight to beat Abdul Wali while interrogating him for two nights. Passaro is a former medic with the U.S. Army's Special Forces.

Wali died shortly after the alleged beating, but Passaro is not charged with his death. Instead, he is charged with four counts of assault. He faces up to 40 years in prison.

Passaro's lawyers have indicated they will argue that their client followed interrogation guidelines approved by his superiors.

The defense says Passaro only did his duty, and went out of his way to offer care for Wali. The defense says Passaro gave Wali mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the day that he died.

Wali was a suspect in rocket attacks on the base in Afghanistan where Passaro was stationed.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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