Sweden pays $502,000 in compensation to exonerated terror suspect

Muhammed Alzery was handed over to CIA agents in Stockholm, deported to Egypt and imprisoned on terrorism charges.

dollars 88 (photo credit: )
dollars 88
(photo credit: )
Sweden will pay 3 million kronor ($502,000) in compensation to an exonerated Egyptian terrorism suspect who was handed over to CIA agents and deported in 2001, the government said Thursday. Chancellor of Justice Goran Lambertz said the Swedish state reached a settlement with Muhammed Alzery's lawyers on compensating him for circumstances of his deportation. "He was deported from Sweden by the security police under circumstances that were not acceptable," Lambertz said. He also said Sweden believes Alzery's claim that he was tortured in Egypt. Alzery and fellow Egyptian Ahmed Agiza were handed over to US agents at Bromma Airport in Stockholm six years ago, taken to Egypt and imprisoned on terrorism charges. Alzery was released in 2003 without standing trial after Egyptian authorities dismissed allegations against him. The Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, which represented Alzery in the case, said they had initially demanded 30 million kronor ($5 million) from the Swedish state, based on damages paid in similar European cases. "Of course we are disappointed," said Robert Hardh, secretary-general of the Helsinki Committee. However, he said the settlement was a big one by Swedish standards. He also said it was important that the chancellor acknowledged that the torture had taken place. "It is thereby clarified that Sweden has a responsibility for this and it would not be out of place if Fredrik Reinfeldt (Sweden's prime minister) apologized on behalf of Sweden for the harm they caused," Hardh said. He also said he hopes the Swedish government will now grant asylum to Alzery, who remains in Egypt. Negotiations for Swedish state compensation to Ahmed Agiza are expected to be concluded within a few months, Hardh said. Egypt's Supreme Military Court convicted Agiza in April 2004 of leading an outlawed group allegedly aiming to overthrow the Egyptian government.