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Government apologises for collusion in torture

THERESA MAY has apologised to Libyan dissidents who were kidnapped and tortured by former leader Muammar Gadaffi’s police after an alleged tip-off from the British government.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright said yesterday that the Prime Minister had written to Abdelhakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar to apologise for their rendition and “appalling” treatment.

Ms Boudchar was in Parliament with her son, with whom she was five months pregnant at the time of the kidnap in 2004, accompanied by Cori Crider of human rights charity Reprieve and Sapna Malik of law firm Leigh Day.

Mr Wright told MPs that Mr Belhaj, leader of the conservative Islamist al-Watan Party, had not sought and would not receive compensation, but Ms Boudchar would receive £500,000, without any admission of liability.

Ms Crider said: “This is a victory for everyone who opposes injustice, secret detention, and torture … History will judge the CIA torture programme as a grave mistake and a crime.

“Britain lost its way when it got mixed up in rendition, but today, by apologising for its part in that dark story, the UK has stood on the right side of history.”

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