Scotland Yard to probe allegations of MI5 and MI6 abuse of two Libyan rebels
London, Jan.13 (ANI): Scotland Yard has revealed that it will be conducting an inquiry into allegations that British intelligence outfits MI5 and MI6 abused two Libyan rebels.
Abdel Hakim Belhadj, who led the Libyan rebel forces assault on Tripoli, and Sami al Saadi, an opponent of the Gaddafi regime, both claim that British agents were involved in returning them to Gaddafi's Libya where they were imprisoned
The allegations are "so serious that it is in the public interest for them to be investigated now" rather after a planned inquiry into similar claims, Sky News quoted the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, and Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens, as saying.
However, MI5 and MI6 agents will not face prosecution after a four-year investigation into the alleged ill treatment and torture of detainees held during counter-terrorism operations, Starmer announced.
Lawyers at Leigh Day and Co, which represents both Libyans, called for the latest claims to be "investigated promptly and comprehensively".
Belhadj was held for six years in Libyan prisons and claims he was interrogated by "foreign" agents, including some from the UK. His wife was detained for four months.
He welcomed the police investigation on Thursday: "I was glad to see today's decision by the British Police and the Crown Prosecution Service to investigate my torture, and I stand ready to co-operate.
"I believe the new Libya and the United Kingdom must forge a positive relationship looking forward - but to start on a good footing, Libyans need justice for the crimes of the past," he told Sky News.
Saadi claims he was travelling from his home in Hong Kong to the UK when, along with his wife and four children, he was stopped and flown to Tripoli.
His legal team alleges that Britain had arranged for Chinese authorities to arrest him at the behest of Gaddafi.
Al Saadi has said that during the rendition he saw his young daughter lose consciousness and his wife "screaming as they were handcuffed".
Documents said to support Saadi's case are alleged to include ones that British agents interrogated him while he was detained in Libya.
MI6 chief Sir John Sawers said it was in the service's interest to deal with the new allegations "as swiftly as possible so we can draw a line under them and focus on the crucial work we now face in the future".
He also welcomed the decision not to take action over the allegations of complicity in the abuse of a Binyam Mohammed, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who claims an MI5 officer colluded in his torture.
In a statement the Director of Public Prosecutions said there was not evidence to provide a realistic prospect of convicting the agent of any offence.
The new criminal investigation looks likely to delay the planned inquiry into British complicity in torture and rendition, headed by Sir Peter Gibson, which was due to begin in the wake of the police investigation. (ANI)
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