Tony Blair denies knowing about rendition

Sept. 10, 2011 at 3:29 PM
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LONDON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Former Prime Minister Tony Blair denies knowing about British security services sending Libyan dissidents to their homeland where they were allegedly tortured.

Blair said he has no knowledge about individual cases of Libyans being handed over to Col. Moammar Gadhafi's secret police, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"I can't comment on individual cases because I don't know about them. I don't know everything that is happening. We didn't support rendition as far as I know," Blair said Saturday.

He added: "When our security services were co-operating with other countries in fighting terrorism they were absolutely right. They were doing a great job. Of course they should not break the rules or engage in torture but they were engaged in protecting our country. As a result we have significantly reduced the risk."

Blair was put on the defensive after Abdel Hakim Belhaj, commander of anti-Gadhafi forces in Tripoli, made allegations he was arrested in Bangkok and then transported to Libya by a CIA and MI6 operation in 2004.

Belhaj, then a terrorist suspect, said he was tortured in Libya.

Human Rights Watch may have confirmed his report by finding documents in an abandoned office building in Tripoli.

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