Libyan politician offers to settle torture claims for £3
A Libyan politician who is suing the former Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, the British Government and the former head of Counter Terrorism at MI6, Sir Mark Allen, has offered to settle the case for £3.
Abdel Hakim Belhaj is suing the British Government for damages after being kidnapped and taken to one of former Libyan leader Gaddafi’s jails.
Belhaj was leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group who opposed the Libyan leader when he and his wife were detained in Bangkok airport in 2004.
It is then alleged that Belhaj was tortured for several days while his wife, who was five months pregnant, was chained to a wall in a secret prison. The couple were then taken to Tripoli where Belhaj would spend six years in jail.
Balhaj claims he was repeatedly tortured in Gaddafi’s prison and was questioned by British officers who knew this was happening.
Last week, in a letter to David Cameron, Belhaj said: “I will forever be grateful to Britain” for helping the Libyan people topple Gaddafi, and added that he is anxious to see good relations between the two countries.
He writes: “For this reason, I am making an open offer to settle our litigation. My wife and I are willing to end our case against the UK government and Messrs. Straw and Allen in exchange for a token compensation of a British pound from each defendant, an apology and an admission of liability for what was done to us.”
To prevent payouts to claimants in national security cases, British secret courts may need a revamp in order to accommodate high payout cases, such as one similar to Belhaj’s case, where the dissident received £2.2million.