United Kingdom's Supreme Court ruled that Abdelhakim Belhaj can sue the British government over allegations that it helped return him to Libya's Gaddafi regime
The United Kingdom’s Supreme Court has ruled to give the Chairman of the Libyan Al-Watan Party, Abdelhakim Belhaj, the right to sue the former Foreign Secretary of the UK, Jack Straw, the MI6 and the British government for claims that they helped in his rendition to Libya and later in his torture by the Libyan Gaddafi authorities.
According to British media citing the Supreme Court, the UK’s highest court has ruled that ministers, involved in the case, especially Jack Straw, cannot claim “state immunity” or escape trial on the grounds of the legal doctrine of “foreign acts of state.”
Lord Mance, a UK Supreme Court judge, said the use of torture “has long been regarded as abhorrent by English law,” thus dismissing the government’s appeal in the Belhaj case.
The lawyers for Belhaj, who are almost fifty, say he is determined to sue unless he receives an apology and a token £1 in damages.
According to the case, the head of the counter-terrorism at the MI6, Sir Mark Allen, sent a letter to the Gaddafi regime’s Intelligence Chief, Moussa Koussa, saying that the UK intelligence provided a tipoff that led to the abduction and then rendition of Belhaj and his wife to Libya.
Belhaj and his wife, Fatima Bouchar, were abducted in Bangkok in March 2004 and then flown by the CIA from Bangkok to Gaddafi’s detention centers in Tripoli, where Belhaj remained in prison for almost 6 years, while Bouchar, who was then pregnant, was released before giving birth.
Belhaj was handed over to the Gaddafi regime in 2004 at the time when Tony Blair, who was in close ties to Muamar Gaddafi, was the UK Prime Minister.