Libya rendition claims: Cameron calls for inquiry
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Last Updated: Tuesday, September 06, 2011, 08:56
  
London: Allegations that British intelligence agency MI6 was involved in the rendition of Libyan terror suspects should be examined by an independent inquiry, Prime Minister David Cameron has said.

Cameron's comments came after papers suggesting close ties between MI6, the CIA and the toppled Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi regime were found in Tripoli last week.

A spokesman for Cameron said that the existing Detainee Inquiry into rendition was "well placed" to investigate the allegations reported in recent days.

The inquiry is headed by Sir Peter Gibson, a judge who also serves as the intelligence services commissioner.

Cameron had set up the Gibson inquiry in July 2010 to probe allegations that secret services were complicit in the torture of extremists on foreign soil after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

"It's not clear precisely what the allegations amount to," the spokesman said.

"We don't have a clear picture from these documents, which is precisely why an inquiry like the [Detainee] inquiry might be well placed to consider the issue," the BBC quoted Cameron's spokesman as saying.

Meanwhile, the Gibson inquiry today said it would look into new claims that Britain was involved in rendition of suspects to Libya and into alleged complicity in the mistreatment of suspected terrorists.

"The inquiry is looking at the extent of the UK government involvement in or awareness of improper treatment of detainees including rendition," the Gibson inquiry said in a statement.

"We will therefore of course be considering these allegations of UK involvement in rendition to Libya as part of our work. We will be seeking more information from government and its agencies as soon as possible."

Among the files were documents suggesting both Britain and the US were complicit in a plan that led to the detention and torture of a senior Libyan rebel commander Abdel-Hakim Belhaj.

Belhaj, then a terror suspect but now in charge of the Libyan capital's military forces, says he was tortured after being arrested in Bangkok.

Belhaj has demanded an apology from both Britain and the US.

"What happened to me was illegal and deserves an apology," he said.

PTI


First Published: Monday, September 05, 2011, 19:27


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