European court rules in favor of German victim of US rendition, torture

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in favor of a German man who says the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency kidnapped him and took him to a secret prison in Afghanistan in 2003.

The European court, based in Strasbourg, France, ruled Thursday that Khaled El-Masri's account was "established beyond reasonable doubt." It said the government of Macedonia violated El-Masri's rights repeatedly and ordered Macedonia to pay €60,000 in damagesI.

It was El-Masri's first major judicial victory after unsuccessful legal cases in the United States and Europe that exposed U.S. practices in the war on terrorism under former President George W. Bush.

El-Masri said he was kidnapped from Macedonia in 2003, mistaken for a terrorism suspect, then held at a secret CIA-run prison in Afghanistan for four months.