A family of six which was rendered back to Gaddafi’s Libya by UK and US intelligence services has filed a criminal complaint with the Metropolitan Police over their ordeal.
Sami al-Saadi – an opponent of the Gaddafi regime who was rendered to the country in 2004 by British intelligence, acting jointly with the CIA and Libya – has, along with his wife and children, asked London’s Metropolitan Police to investigate charges of conspiracy to torture.
Legal action charity Reprieve, which acts on behalf of the Saadi family with Leigh Day & Co, today wrote to the Metropolitan Police to inform them of the family’s wish to lodge a complaint against UK security services – in particular former MI6 counter-terror director Mark Allen – as well as Gaddafi’s former security chief, Moussa Koussa.
Evidence of the mistreatment of Mr al-Saadi, his wife, and four children all aged 12 or under at the time emerged earlier this year after documents were found in the wake of the Libyan revolution, showing the UK’s key organisational role in the case. Letters were also found showing a close relationship between Moussa Koussa and ‘Mark in London’, thought to be Mark Allen.
After being forcibly returned to Libya in a joint British-US operation, Mr al-Saadi was imprisoned and tortured by Gaddafi’s regime over several years, during which time he was also visited and questioned by British and US intelligence officers. His wife and children were held in prison for months, in constant fear for their lives.
Reprieve’s Legal Director, Cori Crider said: “Foreign Secretary William Hague said yesterday that he wants to ‘draw a line’ under UK complicity in torture and rendition, but that cannot happen until it is properly investigated. New evidence continues to emerge of Britain’s murky dealings with the Gaddafi regime, and the Government’s Gibson Inquiry is simply not equipped to get to the bottom of it. Sami, his wife and kids deserve an apology, and an explanation of just how their appalling ordeal was allowed to happen. The Government seems unwilling to provide this, but we hope the Police can succeed where ministers have so far failed.”
Notes to editors
1. For further information please see Sami al-Saadi’s case file or contact Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s press office on +44 (0)20 7427 1082 / +44 (0)7791 755 415
2. The full text of the letter to the Metropolitan Police is available on Reprieve’s website.
3. Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person’s right to a fair trial and saving lives. Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.
Reprieve’s current casework involves representing 15 prisoners in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, assisting over 70 prisoners facing the death penalty around the world, and conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret detention of ‘ghost prisoners’ in the so-called ‘war on terror.’