Lawyers for the suspected al-Qaida mastermind of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole said Tuesday they have filed a case against Poland at Europe's court of human rights over alleged abuse against him at a CIA-run site in that country about eight years ago.
The Open Society Justice Initiative, a New York-based human rights group, and lawyers for Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri are challenging Poland for "active complicity" in the extraordinary rendition program carried out under then-President George W. Bush.
The case filed with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, seeks in part to press Poland to help block an "imminent risk" that al-Nashiri could face the death penalty.
The 46-year-old Saudi national was held at a secret CIA site in Poland between December 2002 and June 2003, and is now being held at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
U.S. military prosecutors re-filed terrorism and murder charges last month and requested the death penalty against al-Nashiri over the alleged planning and preparation for the attack that killed 17 sailors and injured 41.
The filing alleges that Poland's government violated the European Convention of Human Rights by enabling al-Nashiri's to face torture and helping his transfer, despite risks he faced in U.S. custody: further abuse, "a flagrantly unfair trial" and the death penalty, the group said.