Wrongly arrested brother of 9/11 suspect wins damages for wrong arrest

The brother of a pilot wrongly accused of training the 11 September 2001 hijackers has succeeded in a High Court bid to win damages for wrongful arrest.

Mohamed Raissi, whose brother Lotfi was the first person accused of taking part in the attacks in New York and Washington, secured victory after claiming he was falsely imprisoned and unlawfully arrested days after the attacks.

Mr Justice McCombe ruled in favour of Mohamed Raissi yesterday, announcing that "there will be judgment in his favour for damages to be assessed".

But a similar claim by his brother's wife, Sonia, was rejected. Mrs Raissi and Mohamed Raissi were each seeking damages in excess of 150,000 in the action.

Lotfi Raissi was arrested 10 days after 11 September following an extradition request from the United States. He and his wife were living in Colnbrook, Berkshire, at the time. He was released in February 2002 and a judge ruled that there was "no evidence" that he was connected to the 11 September attacks or any form of terrorism. His wife and brother were also arrested. Mrs Raissi, a French-born dancer who was working as an Air France customer service agent at Heathrow Airport, was released without charge after five days.

Mohamed Raissi, now 35, was arrested at his home in Hounslow and held for about 42 hours before also being released without charge. The Metropolitan Police denied liability and were granted permission to appeal.

In February, Lotfi Raissi lost his High Court battle for compensation after judges said it did not qualify for an award despite being held for nearly five months at Belmarsh Prison.

Yesterday Mr Justice McCombe said the only issue in each case "is as to the reasonableness or otherwise" of the grounds on which each of the arresting officers acted. He said the question to be answered was: "Assuming the officer had the necessary suspicion was there reasonable cause for suspicion?"

In the case of Mrs Raissi, he ruled that the factors that the arresting officer had in mind "amply justified the arrest". He said: "She had been with him in a foreign country at a time when he might well have been thought to have been engaged, at the same time and at the same location, in the very training which was being undergone by one of the known perpetrators of the atrocities."

Mr Justice McCombe ruled that Mohamed Raissi's case was "quite different" although he said he had "not the slightest doubt" that the officer acted in "a professional manner". He said: "He was simply thought to be the close brother of a major suspect and the two lived geographically fairly close to each other; each had access to the home of the other in this country." The judge ruled: "In my judgment those grounds were not sufficient to justify the arrest."

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister

Met Police confirm it was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested

News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf plays a World War II soldier in forthcoming drama Fury
films

Eccentric Fury star, 28, reveals he is 'not a really confident actor'

Life and Style
Time and Oak have developed a product that allows drinkers to customise the flavour and improve the quality of cheaper whiskey
food + drink

Sport
football

Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday

Life and Style
The final 12 acts will be facing Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Mel B and Louis Walsh tonight
fashion

The X Factor's judges colourful outfit was mocked by Simon Cowell

News
news

Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home

News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past