Fourth Circuit on validity of a MEJA-extra territorial type prosecution.

Monday, August 10, 2009:  Fourth Circuit affirms CIA contractor detainee abuse conviction, Andrew Morgan

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[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] on Monday affirmed [opinion, PDF] the conviction of a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] contractor on assault charges related to the abuse of an Afghan detainee [JURIST report]. The court found that the district court had properly exercised maritime and territorial jurisdiction [18 USC § 7 text] over the actions of David Passaro [JURIST news archive] while he was employed by the CIA at Asadabad Firebase [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] in Afghanistan. Although the court rejected the construction of "military … mission" used by the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina [official website] as too narrow, the duration and nature of the site’s use, and improvements made to the fortification lead the Fourth Circuit "to conclude that it possesses all the qualities of a permanent U.S. military base abroad, albeit on a smaller scale …."

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