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Saturday, March 2, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Chinese Man Loses Claim That CIA Detained Him

(CN) - The Court of Federal Claims dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Chinese man who claimed he was falsely imprisonment by a CIA agent.

Qian Ibrahim Zhao claimed he was making a film in Washington, D.C., in 2004 when a CIA agent stopped him on the street, searched him and his belongings, and then detained and questioned him for more than four hours. Zhao is now being held at an immigration and customs facility in Houston.

He filed a pro se suit for damages, claiming the incident violated his constitutional rights, but the claims court said he can't seek monetary damages for constitutional claims.

"These constitutional provisions are not money-mandating sources of law," Judge Charles Lettow wrote.

Zhao's remaining claims for slander, defamation, invasion of privacy and false imprisonment are also barred, the court ruled, because they are tort claims that fall under district court jurisdiction.

The court also pointed out that Zhao had filed a nearly identical complaint in another court. One month before filing suit in claims court, Zhao filed a case that is "virtually identical word-for-word" in Texas federal court, the claims court said.

That case was dismissed as time-barred.

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