'Mail on Sunday' to pay damages to pilot accused of training hijackers
An Algerian pilot falsely accused by America of training the 11 September hijackers is expected to win an estimated five-figure damages payout from The Mail on Sunday in a settlement to be agreed in the High Court today.
Lotfi Raissi, 29, was arrested within days of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon.
He spent five months in Belmarsh prison in south east London and was told it was likely he would be charged with conspiracy to murder and could face the death penalty in the US.
On 30 September 2001, The Mail on Sunday published an article accusing Mr Raissi of stealing the identity of a 74-year-old grandmother who had died four years earlier. The story said he had used her social security number to help set up a new identity in America.
Since his release, Mr Raissi, who lives in London with his wife - a French Catholic - has been unable to continue his career as a pilot.
Associated Newspapers, the publisher of The Mail on Sunday, is understood to have agreed to pay Mr Raissi substantial damages and legal costs, as well as offer an apology. A statement is expected to be read out in court today.
Mr Raissi has already launched legal action against the FBI and the Department of Justice for £13m for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. He is expected to make similar claims against the Crown Prosecution Service and the police in this country.
Mr Raissi, the first person to be arrested after the 11 September attacks, said he was assaulted and verbally abused while in prison. He has always argued that the US planned to make him a scapegoat because he was a Muslim pilot.
Since his release, he has been treated by a psychiatrist. "I can't fly aeroplanes anymore. I've been blacklisted from all airlines," he told the BBC. Had an apology over his treatment been given, he would not be resorting to legal action, he said.
'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
Duchess of Alba dead: Billionaire Spanish duchess who lived life by her own rules, dies at 88
Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Mike Nichols dead: The Graduate director dies suddenly following cardiac arrest
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Lana Del Rey rape video: Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage
- 5 Winnie the Pooh banned from Polish playground for being 'inappropriate hermaphrodite'