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May sorry for helping send Abdul Hakim Belhaj to Gaddafi's torture chamber

May sorry for helping send Abdul Hakim Belhaj to Gaddafi's torture chamber

Mrs May acknowledged that Fatima Boudchar, who was almost five months pregnant at the time of her detention in 2004, and Abdel Hakim Belhaj, a prominent opponent of Gaddafi, had been subjected to "appalling" and "harrowing" treatment and offered an "unreserved apology".

"The best that I think any government can do is to put in place the processes and practices that mean the right values are applied to the judgements that we have to take, including in what are very hard cases".

While the Saadi family received a £2m ($2.5m) settlement two years ago, Belhaj insisted he only wanted an apology and a symbolic £1 ($1.24) payment from each of the defendants.

Boudchar will receive £500,000 (570,000 euros, $670,000) compensation, but Belhaj did not seek any financial settlement, only an apology.

In her letter, Mrs May said that the United Kingdom government believes their account of the events and told them: 'Neither of you should have been treated in this way'.

Boudchar on Thursday was in the public gallery of the House of Commons with her son, now 14, to hear Wright's apology.

A former fighter with the anti-Gaddafi Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), Belhaj was imprisoned in Libya for six years after his capture.

'For more than six years I have made clear that I had a single goal in bringing this case: justice, ' he said.

"The U.K. government's actions contributed to your detention, rendition and suffering", the letter said.

In an article for The New York Times this week, Ms. Boudchar described her time in C.I.A. captivity in Thailand. The UK government shared information about you to its worldwide partners.

In a letter to Koussa, dated 18 March 2004, Mark Allen, MI6's counterterrorism chief, congratulated him on Belhaj's "safe arrival" in Tripoli, adding that British involvement in the operation was "the least we could do for you and for Libya to demonstrate the remarkable relationship we have built over the years". "We accept that this was a failing on our part". "We should have understood much sooner the unacceptable practices of some of our worldwide partners and we sincerely regret our failures", the prime minister's statement also said.

Speaking in Istanbul, where he is involved in peace talks, Mr Belhaj said: "The wording of the apology was heartfelt.There was a feeling of concern, an admission of the shortcomings, an expression of unreserved apology, lessons learned, admission of failings and an expression of disappointment towards the global partners that I was handed over to. But by today's settlement I look forward to rebuilding my life with dignity and honor, and living free from the weight of these events with my husband and our five lovely children". 'Now, at last, justice has been done.

"Today is a historic day, not just for myself and my wife", he said. "I think I've been clear, I hope I've been clear that in this case we didn't get those judgements right and we must do better in the future".

"Britain has made a wrong right today, and set an example for other nations to follow".

'A great society does not torture; does not help others to torture; and, when it makes mistakes, it accepts them and apologises.

In 2004, then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair met Gadhafi in Libya, beginning a thaw in relations dubbed the "deal in the desert".



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