This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," February 25, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
JOHN GIBSON, HOST: Al Qaeda (search) plotting to kill President Bush — Now this Al Qaeda member, or accused Al Qaeda member, wants to sue the U.S. government blaming Washington for his alleged torture in Saudi Arabia. FOX News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano takes a look at the case.
The parents of Ahmed Abu Ali (search) — the young guy who's alleged to have been involved in this plot to kill President Bush — they want to sue the U.S. government for what?
NAPOLITANO: It's very interesting. He was held in a Saudi jail for two years. He says he was tortured; the Saudis say that our definition of what they did to him was not torture. He came over here, in response to a complaint filed by his parents, asking the United States government to take him out of the Saudi jail and produce him in a federal courthouse and explain why he was being held.
The Justice Department did that. Surprise to the parents and Mr. Abu Ali when he arrived here, he was served with an indictment charging him with providing material assistance to terrorist organizations, conspiring with terrorist organizations, among which, was this chatter about how we could kill President Bush.
So, the first lawsuit was to get him here. The second lawsuit, the one they now say they are going to file, is for compensation for what the Saudi intelligence agents did to him, which they say was at the instruction of the FBI
GIBSON: OK. Now, we always talk about this: does the government have to agree to be sued? Is there any just mechanical obstruction to such a suit?
NAPOLITANO: The government has to agree to be sued and it has agreed to be sued in this case. I don't mean with respect to him, I mean with allegation of torture, by foreign agents at the direction of American agents. There's a specific statute that allows you to sue the government for that. Whether he can prove his case is another story. But this is a lawsuit that can go forward.
GIBSON: What is the definition of "torture" the Saudis say they did not meet in their treatment of Mr. Abu Ali?
NAPOLITANO: Well, the Saudis issued a press release and did not describe specifically what they did or what they didn't do, but they said, "By our standards it wasn't torture."
GIBSON: But they did something?
NAPOLITANO: Yes. They exerted what they call pressure on him. He says the pressure consisted of being hung by his wrists for days, and being whipped by a bullwhip. Now, a federal judge in Virginia looked at the report of a physician who examined his back and said, "There is evidence of torture here."
So, the case is going to go forward. The issue is, was it done by the Saudi government, [or] was it done at the instruction of the FBI? Was the FBI there taking notes? Or is this guy making this up to divert attention from the charges against him?
GIBSON: Judge Andrew Napolitano. As always, thanks a lot. The Judge rules.
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