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CIA Contractor Freed From Jail, Re-Arrested

March 18, 2006

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ A former CIA contractor charged with beating an Afghan man who later died was released from jail Friday to help prepare his defense and was promptly arrested on charges of assaulting his former girlfriend.

David Passaro, 39, had been in jail since June, but a federal judge Tuesday agreed to release the former Army special operations soldier while he awaits trial.

He was immediately arrested on charges of domestic assault and other offenses.

Passaro attorney Clint Rudisill said the new charges were ``totally unfounded.″ Passaro posted a $1,500 bond and was released about 4 p.m., sheriff’s Major Gary McNeill told The Fayetteville Observer.

In Afghanistan, Passaro helped the U.S. military hunt terrorists, gather intelligence and train armed forces.

Authorities said he kicked and beat an Afghan suspect for two days before the prisoner died. Passaro has denied any role in the 2003 death. He is charged with assault and could get 40 years in prison. No trial date has been set.

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