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Trial Of Alleged U.S. Vigilantes Resumes In Kabul


23 August 2004 -- The trial resumed in Kabul today of three Americans and four Afghans accused of torturing Afghan terror suspects in a private jail they operated in Kabul.

The defendants, who face up to 20 years in jail, deny the allegations against them.

After the trial resumed, a defense lawyer played a tape of the leader of the group, former U.S. Army soldier Jonathan Idema, interrogating a prisoner. The prisoner, Ghulam Saki, was heard describing how he was paid money to commit terrorist acts. The defense said this showed it was a legitimate counterterrorism operation.

However, Saki told the court his confession was false and he had been tortured.

Idema has said he had approval from Afghan and U.S. officials to carry out operations to catch terrorists. This is denied by U.S. and Afghan officials.

(AP)
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