The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday in favor of a German man who says the CIA illegally kidnapped him and took him to a secret prison in Afghanistan in 2003. The decision was hailed by critics of the so-called extraordinary renditions programs in the U.S. war on terrorism.

It's Khaled El-Masri's first major judicial victory after trying in the U.S. and Europe to get authorities to recognize him as a victim. He says he was kidnapped from Macedonia in 2003, mistaken for a terrorism suspect, then held and brutally interrogated at a prison run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for four months.