Deir Az Zor, Syria (TFC)— A Syrian village was recently subjected to a rather bloody raid by US special operations. After killing dozens of ISIS fighters, operatives detained and disappeared several reputed militants. It continues a breadcrumb trail of raids,…
The UK government’s refusal to answer questions about political interference in a decision not to bring charges over British complicity in renditions has been challenged by international human rights group Reprieve.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced in June 2016 that it would not bring any charges in Operation Lydd, a police investigation into the UK Government’s role in the 2004 kidnap and rendition to torture of two families, including a pregnant woman and children aged 6 to 12.
British prosecutors have today stuck by a decision not to bring charges against the UK Government over its role in the 2004 kidnap and rendition of two Libyan families, including a pregnant woman and children aged 6 to 12.
The torture victims had demanded a review of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decision in June 2016 not to bring any prosecutions, despite finding that a senior British intelligence official was involved in the operation and had – to a limited extent – sought political approval for it.
The CPS took two years to consider the original police investigation which produced a 28,000 page file. However, it completed the victim’s review in just seven weeks. The review staff were junior to the team who made the original decision not to charge, putting them in the position of having to challenge their superior’s decisions on a high profile case.
A family who were rendered to Gaddafi’s Libya in a joint MI6-CIA operation have spoken of their disappointment at a decision by British prosecutors, announced yesterday, not to bring charges against UK officials implicated in their kidnapping.
Abdul-Hakim Belhaj, a prominent Gaddafi opponent, and his then-pregnant wife, Fatima Boudchar, were kidnapped in March 2004, forced onto planes, and taken to Libya in a joint MI6-CIA operation. Another dissident, Sami al-Saadi, and his four children were abducted shortly afterward. Speaking to the Daily Mail in an interview published today, Mr Belhaj described the torture he went on to suffer in Gaddafi’s prisons.
In a statement yesterday, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced that a senior British intelligence official was involved in the operation and had – to a limited extent – sought “political authority for some of his actions.” However, the CPS went on to claim there is “insufficient evidence” to bring charges.
Reports in today’s Guardian state that the then-head of MI5 wrote to Prime Minister Tony Blair to protest MI6 involvement in CIA renditions during the ‘war on terror.’ According to the paper, Eliza Manningham-Buller’s letter warned that MI6’s actions – which included organizing the kidnap and rendition of two Libyan families, including a pregnant woman and four young children – threatened UK intelligence gathering and the safety of MI5 officers and informants.
Senior figures in MI6 and the Government of the day are now awaiting an announcement from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on whether to bring charges over UK involvement in the 2004 Libyan renditions, which saw the Belhadjand al Saadi families kidnapped and forcibly transferred to Libyan prisons. Mr Belhadj and Mr al Saadi – who were both prominent opponents of Colonel Gaddafi – suffered years of torture in the dictator’s prisons as a result of the MI6-orchestrated operation.
However, according to the Guardian, “investigators have been frustrated by the way potentially key witnesses have said they were unable to recall who had authorized British involvement in the rendition program, who else knew about it, and who knew the precise details of the Belhaj abduction.”
A 60-year-old former CIA officer who was on vacation at the time the US spy agency abducted an innocent man in Italy may be the only person to face prison time for the American torture regime.
On Wednesday, former CIA spy Sabrina De Sousa will be handed over to Italian authorities to serve a prison sentence for her role in helping to seize a terror suspect 13 years ago.
In February 2003, Egyptian cleric and terror suspect Abu Omar was abducted from the streets of Milan as part of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. On the day in question, De Sousa was on vacation with her son on the ski slopes of Northern Italy over 185 miles (300 kilometers) away.