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A German court rejected a lawsuit filed by Khaled el-Masri seeking to force Berlin into prosecuting suspected CIA agents who he alleges illegally detained him nearly eight years ago as part of the U.S. rendition program.

The Cologne Administrative Court, in a ruling on Dec. 7, supported Berlin's decision not to seek the Americans' extradition after Washington told the Germans in 2007 it would reject any attempts to prosecute its agents, citing national security concerns. The ruling was published on Friday.

The court ruled that "the German government's decision not to seek the extradition of the agents, despite the arrest warrant issued by a German court, was legal."

El-Masri's lawyer said he and his client were considering whether to appeal the ruling. They have one month to do so.

El-Masri, 44, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, says he was illegally detained by CIA agents while entering Macedonia on New Year's Eve 2003 and then transferred to a CIA-run prison in Afghanistan, where he says he was beaten, sodomized and injected with drugs.


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