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Torture victim offers to settle lawsuit for £3 and apology

Torture victim offers to settle lawsuit for £3 and apology

Categories: Latest News

Monday March 04 2013

The Guardian front page story today reports on the letter from Libyan national, Abdel Hakim Belhadj, to David Cameron agreeing to settle his lawsuit against the Government for alleged complicity in the torture and rendition of him and his wife for £3 and an official apology.

According to the paper, “Belhaj wrote to David Cameron last week to say that he would settle for just a pound from each defendant, providing each of them unreservedly apologised to his wife and himself.

“In his letter, Belhaj says he will “forever be grateful to Britain” for helping the Libyan people topple Gaddafi, and 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.””

Belhadj is suing the Government, the former foreign secretary, Jack Straw, and Sir Mark Allen, former MI6 head of counter-terrorism.

The Guardian report comes on the day that the Justice and Security Bill enters its third reading in Parliament. The Bill, in which the Government seeks to extend the use of ‘secret courts,’ has been widely criticized for potentially shielding cases like those of Belhadj and Sami Al Saadi from open justice. As The Guardian observes, Belhadj’s letter, and Al Saadi’s settlement, presents a challenge to “government claims that a new generation of secret courts is needed to prevent large payouts to claimants in national security cases”.

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