View Full Version : Lawyer Sues U.S. Over False Arrest

07-15-2005, 06:16 PM
Lawyer sues US over false arrest


A US lawyer wrongfully arrested over the Madrid train bombings in 2004 is suing the US government.

Brandon Mayfield, 38, was held for two weeks when the FBI linked him to fingerprints found in Spain - but later said it was wrong and apologised.

Mr Mayfield, a convert to Islam, says he was targeted because he is a Muslim.

The Justice Department rejects the charge, saying he was arrested "because fingerprint examiners believed his print to match the Spanish print".

Mr Mayfield's lawyers say they have an internal FBI e-mail that contradicts the government's official position.

The e-mail, from FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele, said the agency had "tied" Mr Mayfield to the attacks but that "there is not enough other evidence to arrest him on a criminal charge".

Material witness
A day after the email was sent, Mr Mayfield was arrested as a material witness.

People arrested as material witnesses do not have the same rights as those charged with criminal offences.

Mr Mayfield is also challenging the sweeping post-9/11 anti-terror law known as the Patriot Act.

He says it allowed law enforcement officials to tap his phone in violation of the US constitution.

When the lawsuit goes to court on Friday his lawyers will ask a judge to order the government to hand over the evidence it gathered against him.

The Madrid attacks on 11 March 2004 killed 191 and injured hundreds of people.