Tripoli, 22 December 2013:
A UK court has ruled that Abdul-Hakim Belhaj’s attempt to sue British intelligence and a former government minister . . .[restrict]cannot be pursued in the UK.
Belhaj was trying to bring a case against British intelligence agency MI6 and former foreign secretary Jack Straw for their alleged involvement in his 2004 rendition, along with his pregnant wife, to Libya.
He claims they were seized in Bangkok in a joint MI6 and CIA operation. Belhaj and his wife were apparently then flown to Libya via the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia. Once he was brought back to Libya, Belhaj was incarcerated in Tripoli’s Abu Saleem prison for six years.
British High Court judge Peregrine Simon dismissed the case because it involved America, adding that this could damage UK interests. He said, however, that he had hesitated over the decision because Belhaj’s claim that UK authorities were directly implicated in the extraordinary rendition appeared to be “potentially well-founded.”
In March this year, Belhaj had said he would drop his case if the British government admitted involvement in his rendition and paid him the equivalent to six Libyan dinars.
It is understood that Belhaj, who said that he would continue to seek the truth, will attempt to appeal the court’s decision.
Last December, a similar case saw the British government pay LD 4 million to Sami Al-Saadi on the condition he dropped his action. It did not, however, admit any guilt or responsibility. [/restrict]