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Monday, February 20, 2012

Yunus Rahmatullah case complaint lodged with Scotland Yard

Yunus Rahmatullah case complaint lodged with Scotland Yard

Move comes after bid to free man who has been 'rendered' by US forces for eight years was rejected by UK appeal court

Yunus Rahmatullah was rendered to Bagram prison by US forces after he was captured by SAS soldiers in Baghdad in 2004. Photograph: Reprieve/PA

Lawyers attempting to secure the release of a man who has been detained by US forces for eight years after being captured by British troops in Iraq have lodged a complaint about the case with Scotland Yard.

The move comes after a bid to use an ancient piece of English common law to secure the freedom of Yunus Rahmatullah was rejected by the appeal court in London.

Rahmatullah was "rendered" to Bagram prison in Afghanistan after SAS soldiers detained him in Baghdad in February 2004 then handed him over to the US military.

In December three appeal judges – Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger, Lord Justice Maurice Kay and Lord Justice Sullivan – directed the issue of a writ of habeas corpus, and said Rahmatullah should be freed.

But on Monday appeal judges cancelled the release order after being told that American authorities were not going to "play ball" and British ministers had "reached the end of the road".

Lawyers representing Foreign Office and defence ministers said American authorities were not prepared to transfer Rahmatullah and did not accept that they had any obligation under international law.

In a letter to the Metropolitan police commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, Rahmatullah's lawyers at the legal charity Reprieve said that he and another man were severely abused in Iraq before being taken out of the country, in breach of the Geneva Conventions. "The evidence that certain war crimes were committed also seems beyond dispute," they wrote.

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