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Abducted German Says No Payment From US

DW staff / AFP (ncy)December 17, 2005

A German citizen of Lebanese origin, mistakenly abducted and detained by the CIA, said Friday he had not received any payment from the United States or been asked to keep quiet about the affair.

El-Masri says the US didn't pay him offImage: AP

"I have not received money from anyone and I have promised nobody I would keep quiet about what happened to me," Khaled el-Masri told German television. "I am outraged and very disappointed anyone should level such accusations."

Masri, 42, wants an apology from the United States, which he accuses of having had him kidnapped on Dec. 31, 2003 in Macedonia, then having him taken by the CIA to Afghanistan on Jan. 23, 2004 for questioning about his supposed links to Islamists. He was freed at the end of May last year in Albania after the US authorities realized they had confused him with someone else, he says.

Masri, who is suing the CIA, says he was beaten and humiliated.

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble told a parliamentary committee Wednesday that the United States had apologized to Masri and paid him damages. He quoted a statement to that effect from the former US ambassador to Berlin, Daniel Coats, to his predecessor at the interior ministry, Otto Schily, in May 2004 after being told of the Masri case.