LOS ANGELES (CN) – U.S. District Judge Edward Rafeedie died at his Malibu home last week at 79. Rafeedie, appointed to the federal bench by President Reagan in 1982, presided over the 1990 trial in which he said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s kidnapping of a Mexican doctor was illegal, and ordered the doctor returned to Mexico.
Dr. Humberto Alvarez Machain was suspected of helping drug dealers torture and kill U.S. DEA agent Enrique Camarena. The DEA paid Mexican citizens to kidnap Alvarez and then brought him to the United States. The Supreme Court overruled Rafeedie, but in 1992 Rafeedie dismissed the case, finding that the government’s evidence did not support its charges against the doctor.