File - Picture taken on January 3, 2012 Abdul Hakim Belhaj (C), then - Chairman of the Military Council of Tripoli, speaks during a press conference in Tripoli. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD TURKIA
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A former Libyan Islamist commander won the legal right to sue Britain for damages over the years of torture he says he suffered at the hands of Moammar Gadhafi's henchmen after being illegally handed to Libya by British and U.S. spies.The ruling Thursday by the Court of Appeal in London could open the way for litigation against the British government in similar torture or rendition cases.In 2011, Belhadj began legal action against former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Britain's MI5 and MI6 spy agencies, a former intelligence chief, and relevant government departments, but last year a High Court judge ruled English courts could not hear the case.Three senior judges at London's Court of Appeal overturned that decision Thursday, paving the way for Belhadj and his wife to pursue damages, although the government was given permission to take the case to Britain's Supreme Court.
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