Former Attorney General John Ashcroft has asked a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling that he can be held personally responsible for wrongfully detaining people as material witnesses after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Abdullah al-Kidd, a U.S. citizen, sued Ashcroft and other federal officials after he was arrested and jailed as a material witness in a terrorism case against another man.
Al-Kidd was never called to testify at the trial and said the government violated people's civil rights by using the material witness statute to preventively detain people.
Only the portion of the lawsuit against Ashcroft is on appeal. The rest of the case is pending in U.S. District Court in Boise.
Ashcroft appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after a lower court said the former attorney general could be held personally responsible if al-Kidd proves Ashcroft created a policy of detaining people with suspected terrorist ties without probable cause.