Lawyers for two Libyan exiles who allege British complicity in their torture and rendition lodged formal legal proceedings today against senior government figures.
Abdel Hakim Belhadj and Sami al-Saadi were living in exile in East Asia when they and their families were detained and sent back to Libya with the alleged help of MI6.
Lawyers for the pair issued proceedings against the British government, former foreign secretary Jack Straw and the former director of counter-terrorism at MI6, Sir Mark Allen.
Following the fall of Muammar Gadaffi, correspondence between Mr Allen and Libyan security chief Moussa Koussa was discovered in Tripoli, in which Mr Allen wrote that while he "did not pay for the air cargo the intelligence on [Mr Belhadj] was British."
Should the controversial Justice and Security Bill, which is currently before the Lords, pass it will lead to cases such as these being heard behind closed doors using secret evidence.
Mr Saadi's daughter Khadidja, who was 12 years old when she was renditioned, has written to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke voicing these concerns but has yet to receive a response.
Reprieve legal director Cori Crider said: "The al-Saadi and Belhaj cases will probably be first in line for the cover-up the government has planned in the so-called Justice and Security Bill. Some would say the Bill's entire purpose is to hide scandals like the rendition of Khadidja al-Saadi."
Leigh Day & Co partner Sapna Malik said: "It is extraordinary that in light of such clear evidence of the involvement of the British government, in what we believe was illegal activity, they have chosen the stock response of neither confirming nor denying their complicity."