A northern Virginia man who served decades ago as a colonel in the Somali Army is facing accusations in a federal courtroom that he tortured and killed those perceived as enemies of the government.
A civil jury in Alexandria heard opening statements and testimony Monday in the suit against Yusuf Abdi Ali of Alexandria, who was known as “Tokeh” when he served under dictator Siad Barre.
The lawsuit was brought by a Somali man who says he was shot and left for dead by Ali during a 1988 interrogation. He says he survived only by bribing the men who were supposed to bury him.
The lawsuit has been delayed for nearly 15 years, mostly by legal debate over whether a Somali national could bring suit in the U.S. over alleged torture overseas.