Libyan political figure, Belhaj, wins UK Supreme Court ruling to sue former UK Foreign Secretary
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled Tuesday that a former Libyan opposition figure, Abdul-Hakim Belhaj, who is the Head of Al-Watan Political Party in Libya now, can sue the former Foreign Secretary of the UK, Jack Straw, according to the ruling published on the Supreme Court’s website.
Abdul-Hakim Belhaj told the UK Supreme Court that MI6, which Jack Straw was responsible for at the time, helped the US kidnap him in Asia in 2004 to return him and his wife to Tripoli.
The British Foreign Secretary, Straw, has rejected the claims that he had been aware of the rendition.
The Supreme Court judges, who are about seven, dismissed the government’s appeal as the rendition and torture breached the rights enshrined in the Magna Carta, local media reported.
“The Supreme Court views the allegations as so serious that they had to be heard before a British court. If not, the allegations may never be heard anywhere else in the world,” the ruling reads.
About 50 Belhaj’s lawyers said that he and his wife had offered to settle the case for a token of £1 in damages and an apology.
The couple were detained in Kuala Lumpur in 2004. They told the UK Supreme Court that MI6 was responsible for their rendition to Libya against their will as the secret service informed the Libyan authorities of their location.
“Mr. Belhaj claims that the United Kingdom “arranged, assisted and encouraged” their rendition, as well as conspired in and assisted torture, inhumane and degrading treatment inflicted on them by the US and Libyan authorities,” the ruling adds.
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