The Belhadj complaint about interception and use of attorney-client communications

Belhadj et al. v. Security Service, et al., Case No. IPT/13/132-9/H

In 2012, the families of Gaddafi opponents Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi brought civil actions against the UK government and others after documents found in Tripoli in 2011 revealed a UK-US-Libyan plot to abduct Belhaj, al-Saadi and their families from Southeast Asia and “render” them for torture in Libya. After the Snowden revelations led to concerns that UK intelligence services might be intercepting and misusing the families’ privileged communications with their lawyers at Reprieve and Leigh Day, the families filed a complaint in the IPT in late 2013. The complaint alleged that M15, M16, and GCHQ had ineffective and unlawful policies for protecting “legal professional privilege” (the UK analog of US attorney-client privilege) and that UK government lawyers or officials may have been illegally misusing attorney-client communications in the families’ torture cases.

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