The American Civil Liberties Union said Thursday that it settled its lawsuit against two CIA-contracted psychologists on behalf of three people the ACLU claims were "torture victims."
The ACLU filed the suit on behalf of Suleiman Abdullah Salim, Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, and the family of Gul Rahman against two psychologists who designed and implemented the agency's interrogation program used in the war on terror.
The ACLU said the terms of the settlement are confidential, and the CIA declined to comment. A trial was set to begin next month.
"This is a historic victory for our clients and the rule of law," said Dror Ladin, an ACLU attorney, in a statement. "This outcome shows that there are consequences for torture and that survivors can and will hold those responsible for torture accountable. It is a clear warning for anyone who thinks they can torture with impunity."
Unlike other cases involving the CIA's interrogation techniques that the ACLU deemed "torture," the case was not dismissed at its early stages over concerns about the revelation of state secrets.
Lawyers for the CIA-contracted psychologists issued a statement Thursday contradicting the ACLU's claim that the settlement was a victory for the civil liberties group.
"If this case had gone forward, the facts would have borne out that while the plaintiffs suffered mistreatment by some of their captors, none of that mistreatment was conducted, condoned or caused by Drs. Mitchell and Jessen," said James T. Smith, attorney for the psychologists, in a statement. "This settlement relieves a significant burden on the court, potential witnesses and my clients."