June 30, 2014 4th Circuit published opinion

Al Shamari v CACI Premiere Technology, Inc.

Al Shamari and others sued CACI alleging war crimes and common law tort claims arising from CACI employee actions while serving as contractors at the Abu Gharib prison in Iraq. The district court ultimately dismissed their claims as beyond the scope of the Alien Tort Act or time barred. The panel vacated and remanded. It held that analyzing claims under the Act requires a nuanced fact intensive review to see if the claims “touch and concern” the territory of the United States. Here, the allegations that CACI entered into a contract for services with the government in Arizona, submitted their billings claims in Colorado, is a United States citizen , employed United States citizens, that US based managers covered up the misconduct while in the United States coupled with congressional intent to hold United states citizens accountable for torture committed abroad are sufficient to displace the presumption against extraterritorial application of United States law and allow this case to proceed. The panel also held that the record in the case was insufficient to determine if this case presents a political question as it unclear if the CACI employees were complying with direct military instructions and what if any defenses CACI would rise which could implicate military decision as opposed to CACI decisions. Thus, the case was remanded for fresh analysis of the political question issue.

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