A federal court has ruled that a Kuwaiti-born man may collect monetary damages from the city of Honolulu following claims that he was arrested based on unjustified suspicions of terrorism.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused to reconsider the case last week and ordered the U.S. District Court in Honolulu to determine the amount of damages that the city owes Mansour Arekat. A three-judge panel had ruled 2-1 in November that Arekat's civil rights were violated.
Arekat, 45, was arrested in 2003 without a warrant under a state mental health law allowing people to be taken into custody if they're deemed to be imminently dangerous, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.
Arekat's attorney, Eric Seitz, said Honolulu police used the mental health law to detain Arekat for seven or eight hours before he was released without charges.
Seitz said Honolulu police officer Letha DeCaires suspected that Arekat might be a terrorist because he came from the Middle East. Also, a former employee at Arekat's security firm told DeCaires that Arekat was associated with terrorism and had model airplanes at his apartment that resembled airliners hijacked in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.