UK to pay £2m over illicit rendition
The British government has agreed to pay more than £2 million (€2.47 million) to the family of a Libyan dissident after accepting its role in his illegal rendition, his legal team said today.
Sami al Saadi, a leading Gadafy opponent, was imprisoned and tortured after he was forced to board an aircraft back to Tripoli along with his wife and four children in 2004 in a joint UK-US-Libyan operation.
Ministers are now understood to have offered him a sum of £2.2 million, but the government has not admitted liability, Mr al Saadi said.
“My family suffered enough when they were kidnapped and flown to Gaddafi’s Libya,” he added.
“They 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?’
“I think the payment speaks for itself. We will be donating a portion of the proceeds to support other Libyan torture victims.
“We look forward to the result of the police investigation and hope there will be a full and fair public inquiry into our case.”