2nd US firm faces suit for Iraq torture

An Iraqi soldier closes the door of a cell in Abu Ghraib prison after the Iraqi government took over control of the facility near Baghdad in 2006.

Another US military contractor faces legal action for involvement in torture and beating of detainees in Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison during American invasion of the country and over seven years after the torture scandal in the US-run prison became public.

The legal case against Virginia-based CACI International comes as another defense contractor, Engiligy, also based in the state of Virginia where the Pentagon is located, recently paid USD5.28 million to settle a legal complaint filed on behalf of dozens of former Iraqi torture victims while in custody of US military contractors in Abu Ghraib and other American-run detention sites throughout Iraq during the invasion, The Washington Post reports Thursday.

CACI employees are alleged to have been part of a group that tortured Iraqis detained by American troops, depriving them of food and water, according to federal court documents.

The major company and military contractor, however, has vowed to challenge the legal complaint, which is due to go to trial later this year, the report says.

According to the report, CACI has claimed in court document that the company and its personnel “should have immunity,” arguing that the plaintiffs have failed to detail “specific instances of interactions with company employees.”

The legal suit against CACI in Eastern Virginia’s US District Court has four plaintiffs, “all Iraqis who spent time at Abu Ghraib,” according to court documents quoted by the daily.

The complaint contends that the detainees were “brutally tortured” by US-led forces, including CACI employees, adding that all four torture victims continue to suffer from physical and mental injuries related to the abuse, the report states.

The report further adds that Engility, “a new government-services business spun off by L-3 Communications,” paid USD5.28 million to former tortured detainees to settle their legal complaint.

Meanwhile, the daily notes, “for these sizable contractors, a settlement of several million dollars generally isn’t damaging to stock prices, but analysts said the companies are focused on defending their record.”