(Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Monday revived a lawsuit against CACI International Inc in which the defense contractor’s employees were accused of directing the torture of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said a lower court judge erred in concluding he lacked jurisdiction to hear claims brought by four Iraqi plaintiffs under the Alien Tort Statute because the incidents occurred in Iraq.
Writing for the appeals court, Circuit Judge Barbara Milano Keenan said the panel was unable to determine whether the claims presented political questions that could not be addressed in court. The 4th Circuit returned the case to the lower court for further proceedings.
CACI and its law firm were not immediately available for comment. A lawyer for the plaintiffs was also not immediately available.
Photos depicting abuse of Abu Ghraib detainees emerged in 2004. While no contractors were charged, some detainees filed lawsuits against employees of these companies accusing them of physical and sexual abuse, inflicting electric shocks, and conducting mock executions.
The case is Al Shimari et al v. CACI Premier Technology Inc et al, 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 13-1937.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Alden Bentley)