UK pays £2.2m to Settle Libyan Rendition Claim

The BBC reports that the UK government has agreed to pay £2.2m to a Libyan dissident and his family who say MI6 was involved in their illegal rendition.

Sami al-Saadi (pictured), along with his wife and four children, were forced on board a plane in Hong Kong and transferred to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's Libya in 2004, where Mr al-Saadi was subsequently held and tortured. Documents found in the office of Col Gaddafi's spy chief stated that the UK had helped to organise the rendition.

Their lawyers say the pay-out ends the family's legal action against the UK, in which they were arguing MI6 was instrumental in their kidnap. The UK still faces a further allegation of rendition from another Libyan.

In a statement issued by his solicitors, Mr al-Saadi said he was settling because his family had "suffered enough":

"[My children] will now have the chance to complete their education in the new, free Libya ... I will be able to afford the medical care I need because of the injuries I suffered in prison.

"I started this process believing that a British trial would get to the truth in my case. But today, with the government trying to push through secret courts, I feel that to proceed is not best for my family.

"I went through a secret trial once before, in Gaddafi's Libya. In many ways, it was as bad as the torture. It is not an experience I care to repeat. Even now, the British government has never given an answer to the simple question: Were you involved in the kidnap of me, my wife and my children?"

Al-Saadi, also known as Abu Munthir, was proposed as Libya’s Minister of Martyrs and Missing, but announced his resignation on television before even taking up his post, accusing the new government of including members of the old regime.

(Sources: BBC, Channel 4)

(Photo Credit: Reprieve)

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