Abdul Hakim Belhaj Willing to Settle With UK Over Libyan Rendition 05/03/2013 12:59:00
Abdel Hakim Belhaj Abdel Hakim Belhaj, a Libyan citizen who was a leading figure in the rebel forces that helped overthrow the dictatorial Gaddafi regime in 2011, and who was suing the British government for its alleged role in his 2004 rendition to Libya has offered to settle the case.
Mr Belhaj, who is also is also suing former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and ex-senior MI6 official Sir Mark Allen, is reported saying he wants an apology, an admission of liability and a token payment of £1 from each.
In the 1990s Belhaj also used to be a member of a former insurgent group that sought to topple Gaddafi.
The BBC reported that the Libyan's offer comes as British MPs are due again to debate controversial legislation that would take cases like Belhaj's offer behind closed doors.
Belhaj, who began legal action against the UK government last year, alleges that he and his wife were detained by US intelligence officers at Bangkok Airport in March 2004. He says he was tortured for several days while his wife Fatima Bouchar, who was five months' pregnant, was chained to a wall at a secret prison at the airport.
Belhaj has been reported saying: “My wife and I are willing to end our case against the UK government and Messrs Straw and Allen in exchange for a token compensation of a British pound from each defendant, an apology and an admission of liability for what was done to us”
Belhaj believes he was rendered from Bangkok to Libya by the CIA and the flight refuelled on the island of Diego Garcia, the British overseas territory in the Indian Ocean, adding that his rendition was approved by the UK government and British intelligence was responsible for a tip-off that led to his capture.
When he arrived in Tripoli, he says he was locked up for more than four years in the notorious Abu Saleem prison where he was interrogated and tortured.
He has now written to those he is suing, the British PM David Cameron, Mr Straw, and Sir Mark, Mr Belhaj saying he wants to lay to rest the misconception that he is pursuing the case to enrich himself. A UK government spokesman confirmed they have received the letter from Mr Belhaj.
“I am making an open offer to settle our litigation. My wife and I are willing to end our case against the UK government and Messrs Straw and Allen in exchange for a token compensation of a British pound from each defendant, an apology and an admission of liability for what was done to us."
The British government said it is co-operating fully with investigations into UK involvement in the mistreatment by the Gaddafi regime, while a police investigation is under way.
Another claimant with a similar case, Sami Al-Saadi, dropped his legal action in December in return for a payment of more than £2m.
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