Student files lawsuit to get CIA papers on Mandela arrest

2014-01-09 08:17

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Washington – An American student has lodged a lawsuit against the CIA in an attempt to secure documents that purportedly show the intelligence agency was complicit in Nelson Mandela’s arrest.

Mandela, the former South African president who died last month aged 95, was detained in 1962, convicted in the Rivonia Trial and incarcerated for decades under the country’s then apartheid rulers.

Ryan Shapiro, a PhD student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), filed the legal action after the CIA failed to comply with freedom of information requests he submitted to the agency regarding Mandela’s arrest.

“Although US intelligence has long been known to have been involved in the arrest of Mandela, little detailed information is available,” Shapiro’s lawsuit states, seeking details on the CIA’s alleged view of Mandela as a threat.

Shapiro contends the CIA has refused to release the requested papers.

Questioned by AFP about the suit, lodged at a federal court in Washington, Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the CIA, said: “The CIA generally refrains from commenting on court cases pending before the courts.”

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