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Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Saddam victim, now in Pittsburgh, awarded $88 million
Tuesday, June 22, 2004 Associated Press

A federal court awarded $88 million to an Iraqi who said he was tortured at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq under Saddam Hussein's leadership.

Abdullah K. Alkhuzai, 33, of Pittsburgh's Overbrook neighborhood, sued Saddam, his two sons, and eight other Iraqi leaders because, he said, he was starved, beaten, stabbed and shocked while at the Iraqi prison in 1991. In May, U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Hardiman granted a default judgment for Alkhuzai since none of the defendants responded to the suit.

"I feel really great, I feel the USA got my justice for me. I feel grateful to the USA government," Alkhuzai said.

His lawyer, Regis McClelland, said they plan to hire a firm in New York that specializes in collecting these kinds of judgments.

It's unclear if Alkhuzai will ever get any of the money. In July 2003, a group of former POWs won a lawsuit against Iraq by default because Iraq's government did not show up for the court proceedings. The judgment was $959 million from Iraq's frozen assets to be divided among those who sued and their families.

But this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned the lower court's decision that said the POWs were entitled to the damages under a federal statute allowing suits involving countries that financed or aided terrorists.

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