update... US's Supreme Court Have Ruled Against Gen. M. A. Samatar...... “Obviously we're very disappointed .. Jihad win.. in our legal system.. National Post Supreme Court: no immunity for ex-Somali official 08-1555 Samantar v. Yousuf (06/01/2010)
In passing the law, Specter asserted in the brief, Congress intended "to provide redress for egregious acts that infringe human rights and are an affront to human dignity." Joining Specter on the brief were Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas.)
Bashe Abdi Yousuf, a Somali businessman ?? who was tortured ?? and imprisoned under the Siad Barre regime in Somalia in the 1980s, invoked the law in suing Mohamed Samantar, former defense minister and prime minister of Somalia. Samantar fled Somalia in the early 1990s and now lives in Virginia. Four other Somali torture victims are also part of the suit, first filed in 2004 by the Center for Justice and Accountability. At the district court level, Samantar argued successfully that he was protected from suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and the suit was dismissed. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit reversed, finding that immunity under the law does not extend to individuals.
In his brief Specter -- who has argued before the Supreme Court -- asserted emphatically that Congress intended to cover cases like Yousuf's, and that to interpret the law otherwise would "effectively nullify" the law. A .pdf copy of the brief can be found here.
The fact that the Court agreed to hear the case has fueled worry by legislators and human rights groups that the law is in jeopardy. In a floor statement on thec ase last December, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said, "I am concerned that the TVPA's crucial role in protecting human rights may be weakened or even rendered meaningless."
Eileen O'Connor, a former CNN foreign correspondent and now chair of the Center for Justice and Accountability, said the Specter brief and others that are expected to be filed today will be important in clarifying that Congress intended to make sure that "people who commit human rights abuses cannot just come to the United States and find safe haven." O'Connor is counsel at McDermott Will & Emery in Washington.
UPDATE: Solicitor General Elena Kagan also filed a brief in the case today, supporting affirmance of the 4th Circuit ruling. The brief argues that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act as written does not protect foreign officials from lawsuit, and should not alter the tradition that the executive branch makes the "sensitive diplomatic and foreign-policy judgments" about whether foreign officials should be given immunity. "In the view of the United States," wrote Kagan, "principles articulated by the Executive Branch, not the FSIA, properly govern the immunity of foreign officials from civil suit for acts in their official capacity."
Center for jihad apologist (CJA) Files Respondents' Brief with U.S. Supreme Court in general Mohamad Ali Samantar v. Yousuf Member of (SNM)Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM)General Mohamed Ali Samatar, Former vice president and Prime minister of Somalia
Samantar moved to dismiss the 2004 lawsuit on grounds of immunity provided under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which protects foreign governments in most cases from legal action in the United States. But in January 2009, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the case, ruling that this immunity applies not to individuals but only to governments and their agencies. A Washington circuit court had previously reached the opposite conclusion. The Supreme Court’s ruling is expected to resolve the dueling decisions.For Jewish communal officials, the Samantar case set off alarm bells. The Jewish groups that filed the brief cite more than 1,000 cases of lawsuits against Israeli officials around the world as part of an effort that Israeli leaders dub “lawfare” — a campaign to take Arab human-rights grievances against Israel to international courtrooms...more..http://www.forward.com/articles/122213/