Local News

Ex-CIA worker appealing verdict in detainee's death

Posted March 27, 2009 6:28 a.m. EDT
Updated March 27, 2009 7:54 a.m. EDT

— A former CIA contractor from Harnett County who was convicted in 2006 of beating an Afghan detainee while working in Afghanistan wants a new trial.

The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals court in Richmond, Va., will hear arguments on the case Friday.

David Passaro, a former Special Forces soldier who worked as a civilian special operations employee at Fort Bragg, was sentenced in February 2007 to 100 months in prison after being convicted of assault in the 2003 death of Abdul Wali.

Wali died in custody after being beaten with a flashlight and kicked during a two-day interrogation at a U.S. base in Afghanistan in June 2003.

Passaro's attorneys argue that the U.S. District Court in Raleigh did not have jurisdiction over the case and that the jury was given faulty instructions.

In addition, classified military information that could prove that Passaro was justified in his tactics was unfairly sealed, his attorneys claim. That meant the evidence could not be brought into trial.