After 11 Years, Abu Ghraib torture case headed to trial

As published by The Center for Constitutional Rights

The Center for Constitutional Rights is headed to trial in an historic lawsuit about torture at the infamous “hard site” at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Al Shimari v. CACI et al. is a case on behalf of three survivors of torture at the prison—Suhail Al Shimari, Asa’ad Al Zuba’e, and Salah Al-Ejaili—against private military contractor CACI Premier Technology, Inc., for the company’s role in a conspiracy to torture detainees. CACI provided interrogation services at the prison. The case was filed in 2008, and CACI has sought to dismiss it 16 times (with a 17th motion just filed!), causing multiple trips to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Last Wednesday, we urged the court to reject CACI’s latest attempts to dismiss the case, including its motion for summary judgment. Without even hearing argument on some of the motions, Judge Leonie Brinkema said that the case of these three men should be heard by a jury: “you should expect if you don’t settle this case, it’s going to go to trial.” Enough is enough—our clients deserve their day in court to tell the jury what they endured, and an opportunity to hold to account a private corporation that has continued to reap millions in profits despite its role in a conspiracy to torture. This trial, scheduled to begin in Alexandria, Virginia on April 23, 2019, will be the first case on behalf of post-9/11 torture survivors to go to trial. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we bring you our clients’ stories, background on the case, and updates on the trial. This spring, we intend to finally bring an end to 15 years of impunity for torture at Abu Ghraib.