The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Government Ordered to Hand Over Police File on Libya Torture


The High Court has ordered the Government to hand over a suppressed 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 400 page report was the result of a 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, a former top MI6 officers, was charged with misconduct in public office but the Crown Prosecution Service refused to follow that advice. The decision not to charge Sir Mark is subject to a separate legal challenge.

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 wall of secrecy is crumbling. Ministers have fought for years to deny Abdul-Hakim and Fatima justice by using every legal trick in the book. This categorical police report makes a mockery of their refusal to admit the role of MI6 and Sir Mark Allen in illegal torture and rendition. There is surely only so much longer they can waste taxpayers money on this fruitless resistance."

Reprieve is a UK-based human rights organization that uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantanamo Bay.