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Libyans sue Blair and Straw over alleged rendition


Tony Blair could be cross-examined in court over allegations the UK assisted in illegal renditions, it was claimed yesterday, as lawyers for two Libyans began legal proceedings against Jack Straw and a former MI6 director.

Lawyers for Abdel Hakim Belhadj, 45, and Sami Al Saadi issued formal proceedings at the High Court yesterday against the former Foreign Secretary as well as MI6's ex-director of counter- terrorism, Sir Mark Allen.

Mr Belhadj, a prominent Gaddafi opponent and now politician, and Mr Al Saadi allege the two men personally approved their CIA rendition back to Libya in 2004 –along with their wives and young children – where they say they were tortured by the Gaddafi regime, incarcerated and faced interrogation from agents including, they claim, British ones.

A spokesman for solicitors Leigh Day & Co said: "The trial could see Tony Blair called to give evidence, under oath, as early as next year." Mr Blair, left, and Mr Straw have always denied approving or even knowing about the renditions.

Yesterday a Foreign Office spokesman said the Government would cooperate with a separate police investigation into allegations made by former Libyan detainees about UK involvement in their mistreatment by the Gaddafi regime.