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Judge To Soon Rule In Terror Detainee's Lawsuit

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A federal judge in South Carolina says he will soon rule on whether to move forward with a lawsuit claiming a U.S. citizen was illegally detained as an enemy combatant.

Attorneys for Jose Padilla, who once was suspected of orchestrating a terror plot, claim he was unlawfully held at a Navy brig for 44 months. They say he was at times kept in total darkness and isolation, deprived of sleep, and kept from family and attorneys.

His attorneys argued Monday the case should go to trial so that other detainees are not subject to the same treatment.

But attorneys for the defendants, including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and brig officials, say the case should be dismissed. They say that it is a challenge to the military chain of command and that the defendants enjoy qualified immunity.