jericho prisoners 298.88.
(photo credit: AP)
A Palestinian terrorist leader held by Israel filed a lawsuit against the British government for pulling wardens out of a West Bank prison that was later stormed by Israeli forces, his lawyer said Wednesday.
Attorney Kate Maynard said she had filed papers on behalf of Ahmed Saadat alleging his human rights had been violated.
The Foreign Office said it was aware the legal claim had been lodged. A High Court judge will decide whether the case can proceed.
Saadat, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, claims his human rights were violated by the March withdrawal of British wardens from a prison in Jericho where he was held.
British and US monitors supervised the prison under an unusual 2002 agreement.
Minutes after the monitors withdrew, 1,000 Israeli troops stormed the prison, seizing Saadat and four of his alleged accomplices in the 2001 assassination of an Israeli Cabinet minister. The raid left three Palestinians dead and sparked reprisals against foreigners in the Palestinian territories.
Britain's then-Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said at the time that the 14 British and U.S. monitors had been withdrawn because of threats to their security.
Maynard accused the British government of acting "with complete disregard for the lives of Mr. Saadat and the other prisoners by giving (Israel) advance notice of their withdrawal and then telling them as they left."
Saadat was accused by Israel of masterminding the 2001 assassination of Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi. He was arrested by Palestinian police, though never charged, but was held in the Jericho jail anyway, partly to protect him from being targeted by Israel.
Four men seized with Saadat are being tried by Israel for Zeevi's murder, but the attorney general Mazuz ruled there was insufficient evidence charge Saadat. He is awaiting trial by an Israeli military court on several other terrorism-related charges.
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