Suspected terrorist begins talks to return to Algeria


A suspected international terrorist and former "Belmarsh detainee" has begun negotiations to return voluntarily to his home country Algeria, it was revealed today.

The man, who can only be identified as "A", said he and five other Algerian terror suspects were considering the step because of "mental torture" imposed by the British Government.

Speaking to the Press Association Mr A said: "Even if there is a risk, I have to take that risk.

"Here we are not tortured physically but mentally we are tortured.

"I am the cause of suffering for my children. Enough is enough."

The 39-year-old father of five was jailed without charge or trial for three-and-a-half years under controversial internment laws and later released on a control order.

He was re-arrested in August last year pending deportation but in October he was freed on strict bail conditions requiring him to stay indoors for 22 hours a day.

There are also very tight restrictions on who he can meet and he must stay within a certain distance of his home.

Mr A and his family are also prohibited from having mobile phones and the internet in their house.

Mr A said he had approached the Algerian Embassy in London about securing permission to return.

His solicitors have also asked the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) to vary his bail conditions so he can attend a meeting at the embassy for further negotiations, said Mr A.

Mr A said five other Algerians, including three currently detained at Long Lartin maximum security prison, are considering returning home voluntarily.

The Home Office cannot deport them to Algeria because of the country's poor human rights record, including fears that they may face torture or ill-treatment.

A decision to return home voluntarily would end a huge headache for the British Government.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke has been attempting to secure a diplomatic deal with Algeria designed to guarantee that anyone returned to Algiers would not be harmed.

But last week it was reported that negotiations between the two governments had stalled because Algiers disagreed with a crucial British demand.

Mr A was granted anonymity by Siac following his initial arrest under the Anti Terrorism, Crime and Security Act, on December 19, 2001.