ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A judge has ruled that a former Somali prime minister who has been living quietly in the U.S. for the last 14 years can be deposed in a federal lawsuit alleging he oversaw war crimes and other abuses against his own people.
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema on Friday denied a motion to dismiss the case from Mohamed Ali Samantar. He was Somalia’s defense minister and later its prime minister in the 1980s under the regime of dictator Siad Barre.
The lawsuit against Samantar, who now lives in Fairfax, was first filed in 2004 and was initially dismissed until the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated it.
It is the first time the case has reached the stage where Samantar’s accusers can question him about alleged abuses against disfavored clans.
(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)