Britain Pays Off Libyan Torture Victim for 2004 Rendition

Foreign Office: No Admission of Liability in Payoff

by Jason Ditz, December 13, 2012

The British government has agreed to a $3.5 million payment to Libyan torture victim Sami Saadi to settle Saadi’s ongoing lawsuit against them for kidnapping him and his family and sending them to Libya to be tortured.

Saadi came forward in September of 2011, after fellow rendition victim Abdelhakim Belhaj brought details to light about the US and Britain sending dissidents to Gadhafi-era Libya to be disappeared into their brutal prison system.

Saadi had lived in Britain as a member of a banned opposition group in Libya, and later moved to Hong Kong. The British Consulate told him and his family they wanted him to return to Britain for his safety, but once they arrived they were arrested and shipped to Libya, where Saadi was tortured for years. He has been hospitalized for years in Tunisia recovering from his mistreatment.

Saadi says he took the payment because he wanted to avoid putting his family through the stress of a long trial, and because he needed money to pay for his medical treatment. The British Foreign Office says the payoff is not an admission of “liability” for Saadi’s abuse.

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