Britain settles lawsuit by Libyan detainee

Dec. 14, 2012 at 1:44 AM
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LONDON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Britain, admitting no responsibility for the return of an opponent of Moammar Gadhafi to Libya, agreed to pay him 2.2 million pounds ($3.55 million).

The payment to Sami al-Saadi and his family, which was announced Thursday, settles their lawsuit, the BBC reported. The family sued after Libyan intelligence documents discovered after Gadhafi's downfall suggested Britain was involved in their forced return to Libya in 2004.

Saadi said he accepted the offer of 2.2 million pounds so his family could move on. He said the money would allow his children to be educated in the "new free Libya" while he can get medical care for injuries he suffered when he was tortured and imprisoned.

"I started this process believing that a British trial would get to the truth in my case. But today, with the government trying to push through secret courts, I feel that to proceed is not best for my family," he said.

"I went through a secret trial once before, in Gadhafi's Libya. In many ways, it was as bad as the torture. It is not an experience I care to repeat. Even now, the British government has never given an answer to the simple question: Were you involved in the kidnap of me, my wife and my children?"

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said the settlement does not mean Britain admits liability and that no court has found it is liable.

Saadi says he, his wife and their children were flown from Hong Kong to Libya in an operation in which the British intelligence agency MI6 and the United States cooperated with the Gadhafi regime.

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