Britain apologizes "unreservedly" for kidnapping of Libyan

Abdelhakim Belhaj in 2011

UK Prime Minister Theresa May apologized on behalf of the British government to both Mr. Hakim Belhadj and his wife via a letter, made public on Thursday.

Rendition - defined as the practice of covertly taking a suspect to be interrogated in a country with less rigorous regulations for the humane treatment of prisoners - was widely used in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Papers discovered in Tripoli, Libya - during the fall of the dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 - included evidence of how MI6 and the Central Intelligence Agency had groomed Gaddafi and his regime to come in from the cold.

Belhaj denied that any links between the group and al-Qaeda existed and said he believed his rendition to Libya was part of a covert deal between former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, who was overthrown and killed in a popular uprising in 2011.

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

Mr Wright told the Commons all the claims had now been withdrawn as part of a full and final out-of-court settlement.

She was released shortly before giving birth.

Ms Boudchar, who travelled to the United Kingdom with her son Abderrahim to hear the statement in Parliament, described the day's events as "historic" and called on world leaders to show solidarity for those who have suffered injustice "even if they're of different religion or culture".

"This apology is accepted and it puts an end to years of suffering", he said.

"The UK government has learned many lessons from this period. 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 attractive children".

Mr Belhaj says that while in Bangkok, they were detained by American intelligence and he was tortured while his pregnant wife was chained to a wall.

"I welcome and accept the prime minister's apology, and I extend to her and the attorney general my thanks and honest goodwill", Belhaj said to the Guardian.

In letter sent to then-prime minister David Cameron in 2013, Mr Belhaj said: Various media reports I have seen suggest that our motive for bringing this case is to enrich ourselves. "Now, at last, justice has been done", he concluded.

"Today is a historic day, not just for myself and my wife".

In an earlier statement, he argued Britain had "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", Mr Belhadj said.

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