(WASHINGTON) -- The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear the case of an American Islamic convert who claimed he was illegally detained in 2003 due to policies enforced by former Attorney General John Ashcroft.
Specifically, the high court will decide whether Ashcroft is personally liable for an incident in which Abdullah al-Kidd said he was detained on a “material witness” statute while waiting to take a plane to Saudi Arabia from Washington’s Dulles International Airport.
Although never formally charged, al-Kidd said he was held for 16 days, alleging that he was strip-searched repeatedly and “treated worse than murderers.”
After his release, al-Kidd had his passport taken and was required to report to a probation officer for more than a year. In 2005, he sued former Attorney General Ashcroft and others, arguing they had abused his constitutional rights.
A lower court ruled in favor of al-Kidd. Ashcroft’s lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court, claiming that his office at the time protected him from claims of allegedly misusing the law to detain terrorism suspects under false pretenses.
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio