14 Jan 2012

UK rendition claims investigated

6:28 am on 14 January 2012

Police in Britain have opened an investigation into claims that MI6 helped in the rendition of anti-Gaddafi activists to Libya in 2004.

A lawyer acting for two men who say they were detained and tortured with the knowledge of British authorities, says former government ministers may have been involved.

Rebel commander Abdel Hakem Belhaj says he was taken from Bangkok to Libya seven years ago in a joint CIA/MI6 operation.

The ABC reports he has already demanded an apology. Now another Libyan, Sami al-Saadi, says he too was part of a British rendition plan to curry favour with Gaddafi by helping round up his enemies.

Mr al-Saadi is demanding damages from the British government for the torture he says he suffered in Libyan jails.

Lawyer Richard Stein welcomed the opening of the investigation, but said his clients were not the only people affected.