Thanks to State Department Cables, a Torture Victim Won a Rare $10 Million Settlement

 | Ryan Grim, Alex Emmons 07/14/2017 11:18 AM MDT
Yousef Al Otaiba
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An American citizen won a rare $10 million torture settlement against three top members of the ruling family in the United Arab Emirates, after State Department cables proved the man had indeed been detained as he had claimed.

The confidential and previously unreported settlement was paid out in May 2013, according to documents extracted from the hotmail account of UAE Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef Al Otaiba. The documents were provided to The Intercept either by a hacker or someone who had access to his account.

Settlements for torture victims are extraordinarily rare, making the payout to Los Angeles resident Khaled Hassen that much more surprising.

Hassen’s case was brought in federal court in L.A. against three of the most powerful figures in the Gulf — the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, known in Washington as MBZ, a man particularly close to Otaiba; the emir of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan; and General Saeed Hilal Abdullah al Darmaki.

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