Justices Skeptical On Allowing Iraq To Be Sued

Monday, April 20th 2009, 7:10 pm
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court seems skeptical about holding the current Iraqi government responsible in American courts for the acts of Saddam Hussein's regime.

The court is considering a case brought in part by family members of an Oklahoma man.

Foreign nations usually are immune from lawsuits in U.S. courts, but federal law strips that protection from countries that support terrorism. Under Saddam, Iraq was considered a state sponsor of terrorism.

But the Iraqi government now says the U.S.-led invasion that deposed Saddam and a federal law enacted in 2003 restored Iraq's immunity to lawsuits in American courts.

Americans who were held in Iraq during the Gulf War argued that the law passed by Congress did not give the new regime blanket immunity from lawsuits in American courts.

The Iraqi government is being sued by the children of Kenneth Beaty, an oil rig supervisor from Mustang, Okla., and by the children of William Barloon, an aircraft maintenance supervisor
from Florida. The men allegedly were tortured after being illegally detained in Baghdad.