Libyan militia leader sues former UK spy chief

January 31, 2012 15:03


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LONDON - A Libyan militia leader has begun legal action against a former senior British intelligence chief whom he accuses of playing a key role in illegally returning him to Libya to be jailed and tortured under Muammar Gaddafi, his London-based lawyers said.

Abdel Hakim Belhadj, who commands one of Libya's most powerful militias, is seeking damages from Mark Allen, who was director of counter-terrorism at MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence agency.

Belhadj and a second Libyan dissident, Sami al-Saadi, accuse Allen of complicity in torture, negligence and misfeasance in public office -- the wrongful exercise of his authority.

"We are taking this unusual step of preparing legal action against an individual as the documents we have in our possession suggest Sir Mark was directly involved in the unlawful rendition of our clients," said lawyer Sapna Malik, from the London law firm Leigh & Day, which represents Belhadj and Saadi.

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