United States Attorney George E.B. Holding said the assault took place while David Passaro was working as an independent contract at a forward operating base in Afghanistan. The case was the first charged under a provision of the Patriot Act which extended jurisdiction of US courts to crimes committed by United States civilians on overseas installations.
The victim, Abdul Wali, was an Afghan man whom Passaro had been asked to interrogate. Prosecutors said Passaro beat Wali with a flashlight and he died during the course of the interrogation.
The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Passaro's conviction but sent his case back to the lower court for resentencing. On Tuesday, a Raleigh judge imposed a sentence of 80 months imprisonment followed by three years supervised release.