Wife and children of Sami al-Saadi launch legal case against British government over role played in their detention
Sami al-Saadi, also known as Abu Munthir, with his daughter Khadija in Tripoli. They were both imprisoned in Libya by Gaddaï¬ after being ï¬‚own across the world in an operation mounted with the help of MI6. Photograph: Marco Longari/AFP
The daughter of a Libyan dissident who was imprisoned by Muammar Gaddafi following a rendition operation mounted with the help of MI6 has told how her family was flown across the world and held for months while her father was being tortured nearby.
The wife and children of Sami al-Saadi have launched legal proceedings against the British government and its intelligence agencies, and say they are also planning to lodge a complaint with Scotland Yard over the role that the British authorities played in their abduction and detention.
Saadi’s entire family were bundled aboard an aircraft in Hong Kong and flown to Tripoli in March 2004. His wife Karima al-Saadi and her four children, aged between six and 12, were held for months at one of Gaddafi’s prisons.
Saadi, who is also known as Abu Munthir al-Saadi, learned last month of the key role that MI6 played in his family’s rendition when Human Rights Watch, the New York-based NGO, discovered a batch of documents in the abandoned office of Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief, Moussa Koussa. Among the papers is a fax that the CIA sent to Koussa in March 2004, which shows that the agency was eager to join in the Saadi rendition operation after learning that MI6 and Gaddafi’s government were about to embark upon it. Other papers show that an MI6 tipoff led to Belhaj being rendered to Tripoli the same month, along with his pregnant wife.
Two days before Saadi and his family were flown to Tripoli, Tony Blair arrived in the country for his first meeting with Gaddafi, embracing the dictator and announcing a new era of counter-terrorism co-operation.