WASHINGTON (AFP) - Washington pressured Berlin not to enforce arrest warrants against CIA agents involved in the alleged 2003 abduction of a German citizen, leaked documents showed Thursday. The information, made public in diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks and first reported by the New York Times, involved Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese origin. In one of the most notorious examples of alleged renditions of war on terror suspects under the government of former US president George W Bush, Masri says he was abducted by US agents in Macedonia on December 31, 2003. Masri said he was held and tortured in a secret US prison in Afghanistan before US agents realised he was innocent and released him, five months later, on an Albanian roadside. On the first day of my abduction, they told me that I was in a country where there were no laws, Masri said in a radio interview in 2005. I was hit and humiliated, he added. I really thought I would never get out of there. Press reports said that US agents confused Masri with an Al-Qaeda operative with a similar name and alleged links to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. In January 2007 German prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 13 people in connection with the case after being given a list of names by Masris lawyer, but this was dropped later that year. In a February 2007 cable classified Secret, and titled Al-Masri case - Chancellery aware of USG concerns, the US deputy chief of mission in Berlin, John Koenig, emphasised to German Deputy National Security Adviser Rolf Nikel that issuance of international arrest warrants would have a negative impact on our bilateral relationship. Koenig pointed out that our intention was not to threaten Germany, but rather to urge that the German Govt weigh carefully at every step of the way the implications for relations with the US. The dispatch was written by William Timken, Washingtons envoy to Berlin at the time. Contacted by AFP on Thursday, the German foreign ministry declined to comment on the leak, but allegations that Washington applied pressure on Berlin are not new, and the case clearly strained US-German relations. Chancellor Angela Merkel said after a 2005 meeting in Berlin with Condoleezza Rice, at the time US secretary of state, that the case had been accepted as a mistake by the US government. Senior US officials later suggested that Merkel had misunderstood Rice, although the secretary of state did not correct the German leader during a press conference where the comments were made. The case caused consternation in Germany and prompted a parliamentary enquiry on the extent to which authorities were aware of Masris rendition and whether Berlin had been asked by Washington to keep quiet. The enquiry in 2009 cleared the government of having been aware of the alleged kidnapping when it happened, but criticised Berlin for subsequently being insufficiently forthcoming with information about the case. Masri demanded an apology from Washington and sought 75,000 dollars in damages, but the Supreme Court threw out his case in October 2007. He won 50,000 euros (66,500 dollars) in damages from Macedonia in 2009.