Appeals court in Virginia hears arguments on Abu Ghraib torture lawsuit against contractor

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A lawyer for four former Iraqi detainees who say they were tortured at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison has asked a Virginia-based federal appeals court to reinstate their lawsuit against a military contractor.

A district court judge dismissed the lawsuit against CACI Premier Technology in June. He said he lacked jurisdiction because the alleged torture occurred in a foreign country.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals must decide whether the jurisdictional barrier is lifted if the claims sufficiently "touch and concern" U.S. territory. The court typically takes several weeks to rule.

The plaintiffs say CACI employees conspired to have soldiers torture them before interrogations. They say they were subjected to shocks, violence and forced nudity.

In 2004, photos depicting soldiers abusing Abu Ghraib detainees became public. Several soldiers were convicted.