A federal judge says former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld can be sued personally for damages by a former US military contractor who says he was tortured during nine months in prison in Iraq.
The court kept the identity of the contractor - an Army veteran in his 50s - confidential for fear of retaliation.
His attorneys say he was repeatedly abused during detention at Camp Cropper, a US military facility in Baghdad, after he worked as a translator for Marines.
His lawsuit says Rumsfeld violated his constitutional rights by personally approving torturous interrogation techniques on a case-by-case basis and controlling his detention without access to courts.
The Obama administration has represented Rumsfeld and argued he cannot be sued personally for official conduct. US district judge James Gwinn disagreed.