UK agents 'linked to violence in townships'

A MAN who claims he was unlawfully removed from South Africa to stand trial in Britain on fraud charges yesterday told the High Court of possible links between British intelligence and township violence.

Paul Bennett, who claims he was a 'taxi driver' for the US Central Intelligence Agency, said he and a superior had encountered British 'agents' near Durban in South Africa. His superior believed they were issuing AK47 rifles to 'members of the public'.

Mr Bennett, a New Zealander, claims that within days of these sightings he heard reports that 'murders had taken place' around South Africa.

He said it was his superior's impression 'that maybe the British government was knowingly involved in black township violence so as to maintain the white government's position because of the ties that Great Britain had'.

Mr Bennett, 31, of Hanwell, west London, is seeking judicial review of a magistrates' decision, on 22 May 1991, to commit him for trial at Southwark Crown Court on fraud charges.

In January 1991, Mr Bennett was arrested by South African police at the request of British police, and was flown back to London the next month. He claims he was in effect 'kidnapped' and there were no legal grounds for his removal from South Africa.

The hearing continues.

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