Government ordered to hand over police file on Libya torture

April 12, 2018

Image of Abdul-hakim Belhaj

The High Court has ordered the Government to hand over a top secret Metropolitan Police file that recommended charges against a senior MI6 officer for his role in the illegal rendition and torture of opponents of Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi. The victims of the operation included a pregnant woman and a six year old child.

The 400 page report was the result of a more than four-year investigation codenamed ‘Operation Lydd’. Government lawyers have been resisting its disclosure in the ongoing legal claim by Abdul-Hakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar who were kidnapped, tortured by the CIA , and rendered to Libya with the knowledge and assistance of MI6 in 2004. Fatima was pregnant at the time.

The investigating officers recommended Sir Mark Allen of MI6 be charged with misconduct in public office but the Crown Prosecution Service declined to follow that advice. Prosecutors’ decision not to charge Sir Mark is subject to a separate legal challenge by Mr Belhaj and Ms Boudchar.

Along with the report, the Government has also been ordered to hand over evidence given by 75 witnesses, mostly other government officials interviewed by the police

Cori Crider, attorney for Mr Belhaj and Ms Boudchar at Reprieve, said:

“Piece by piece the government’s attempt to withhold evidence is crumbling. Ministers have fought for years to deny Abdul-Hakim and Fatima justice by using every legal trick in the book. This thorough police report will be important evidence of MI6’s involvement in illegal torture and rendition. One wonders how long the government will continue to defend the indefensible in this case.”

Notes to Editors:

1. The Government have just over two weeks to hand over the Metropolitan Police file along with the other evidence.