UK pays Libyan $3.5m to settle rendition case

December 14, 2012 - 6:18:14 am


LONDON: Britain has agreed to pay £2.2m ($3.5m, ¤2.7m) to a Libyan dissident who says British secret services played a role in his illegal rendition, his lawyers said yesterday.

Sami Al Saadi, a leading opponent of Muammar Gaddafi, says he was forcibly transferred to Libya from Hong Kong along with his wife and four children in 2004 in a joint British-US-Libyan operation.

He says he was imprisoned and tortured after his return to Libya.

The British government said it had reached a settlement -- believed to be £2.2m - but said it has not admitted liability.

“We can confirm that the government and the other defendants have reached a settlement with the claimants,” a government spokeswoman said.

“There has been no admission of liability and no finding by any court of liability.”

Al Saadi said although he wanted Britain to acknowledge its role in his rendition, he was now ending his legal action.

“I started this process believing that a British trial would get to the truth in my case,” he said.

“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?’