UK 'approved' rendition of Libyan couple

Documents said to be found in office of Libya's ex-spy chief suggest UK had role in rendition of dissident man and wife.

    The British government approved the rendition of Abdel Hakim Belhaj, a prominent fighter during the recent Libyan uprising, to the former regime of Muammar Gaddafi in 2004, according to reports in the British media.

    Documents said to be found in the abandoned offices of Libya’s former intelligence chief, Moussa Koussa, in Tripoli, suggest British intelligence officers played an active role in his rendition along with his wife Fatima Bouchar.

    The report on Sunday in the UK's The Guardian newspaper said Belhaj and his wife were living in exile in China in 2004 because of their involvement in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group that fought against Gaddafi.

    The couple was detained in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, and were told they could travel to London despite not having EU passports and a UK visa, the paper reported.

    However, when the flight stopped in the Thai capital, Bangkok, the couple were detained in a secret CIA prison and eventually transferred to the Libyan capital Tripoli, according to the report.

    In January, the UK police said they will investigate claims that the country’s secret services helped in the rendition of people from Libya.

    Belhadj, who has said he was tortured after being arrested, gave an interview to Al Jazeera about his experience last year.

    "What was done to me was violation of the law, and I am in possession of evidence that proves the implications of the British intelligence service," Belhadj said.

    "In addition, we hope the law will take its course, as my legal team has evidence to restore my rights. All this makes us firmly believe that justice will be served shortly."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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