A Libyan man is threatening to sue the Hong Kong government for damages over its alleged involvement in his rendition to Libya where he was tortured by the Qaddafi regime, his lawyers said yesterday.
Sami al-Saadi was arrested in Hong Kong in 2004 and illegally transferred to Libya where he was wanted for his opposition to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.
Al-Saadi and another Qaddafi opponent, Abdelhakim Belhaj, have also taken legal action against former British foreign secretary Jack Straw following media reports that he approved the men’s forcible transfer to Libya.
They are also suing the British government and Mark Allen, the former counter-terrorism director of spy agency MI6, after documents emerged suggesting his direct involvement.
In a letter sent to the Hong Kong justice department on Tuesday, lawyers acting for al-Saadi said Hong Kong acted in complicity with British, US and Libyan intelligence services in his illegal detention in Hong Kong.
It said he was subjected to “unlawful detention and inhuman and degrading treatment in Hong Kong,” on the plane to Tripoli during his extraordinary rendition and during his subsequent imprisonment in Libya.
An exiled dissident who had been granted indefinite leave to remain in Britain as an asylum seeker in 1994, al-Saadi and his family were traveling through China on false passports when they were arrested.
During his detention in Libya he says he was beaten and tortured. He said he was interrogated by British and US intelligence agents about his links to Libyans abroad and alleged involvement with al-Qaeda.