Belhaj’s case at the UK Supreme Court turning nightmarish, UK press reports
The current Chairman of Watan Political Party in Libya, Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his wife, Fatima Bouchar, who were victims of a joint MI6-CIA “rendition” operation, have been plunged into a Kafkaesque nightmare by the attempt to have their claim against the former foreign secretary Jack Straw heard in secret, the high court has been told, according to a report by The Guardian.
Belhaj, who was part of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) at the time of Gaddafi’s reign, is suing Straw and the former MI6 counter-terrorism chief Sir Mark Allen – as well as MI6 and the Foreign Office (FCO) – for their alleged role in the operation.
Their claim is supported by a mass of documents discovered during the 2011 Libyan revolution, which detail the way in which Allen and MI6 took credit for the tip-off that enabled the CIA to kidnap the couple in Bangkok and fly them to one of Muammar Gaddafi’s prisons.
The Guardian also reported that UK government lawyers tried to persuade the supreme court to strike out the claim, but failed and are now asking the high court to agree to have much of the case heard in secret under the terms of the controversial Justice and Security Act.
“Absent that, we are in a wholly Kafkesque situation in which I do not know the response of the defendants to the most basic points,” said Richard Hermer QC, for Belhaj and Bouchar, according to The Guardian.
Belhaj said previously that he will settle the case for £1, but insists he and his wife also must receive an apology.