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News Brief

December 21, 2005
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An Israeli court upheld the lawsuit of a former Lebanese prisoner of war who said he was sexually abused while in custody. The Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday rejected a petition by the state to throw out the $1.3 million damages claim by Mustafa Dirani, a Shi’ite militiaman released from an Israeli jail last year as part of a prisoner swap with Hezbollah. Dirani alleged that he was sodomized with a stick by jailers as part of interrogations meant to determine whether he knew the whereabouts of missing Israeli air force navigator Ron Arad, who bailed out over Lebanon in 1986 and was taken captive by militiamen. The district court said that if Dirani wins his lawsuit, laws against funding enemy agents should be invoked to avoid the compensation money being used for Lebanese attacks on Israel. The Israeli government has denied Dirani’s charges that he was abused and said he made up the allegations to justify giving Israel information.

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