UK to compensate man wrongly accused
Amnesty International has welcomed a move by the UK authorities to compensate Lotfi Raissi, a flight instructor who was wrongly accused of training the hijackers of airplanes used to carry out the attacks on the US on 11 September 2001.
Following his arrest in September 2001, Raissi spent five months in prison in Belmarsh high security prison while the USA attempted to have him extradited on minor charges unconnected with terrorism.
In April 2002, a judge ordered his release, stating that the court had received "no evidence at all" to support the allegation that he was involved in "terrorism".
The UK Ministry of Justice told Lotfi Raissi via his lawyer on Friday 23 April 2010 that it considered him "completely exonerated", more than eight years after he was first arrested. The agreement, which came on the last possible day permitted by a 26 March 2010 judgment by the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, allows Raissi to apply for compensation. The final amount will be determined by an independent assessor.
Lotfi Raissi told Amnesty International via his lawyer on Friday 23 April, "I am delighted. I have waited for this for nine years. I hope that this government statement will help get rid of the cloud of suspicion that has hung over my life for so long."
In March, the Court of Appeal found the UK authorities' "inordinate delay" to reconsider Raissi's compensation claim to be characterized by a "high degree of unreasonableness".
Lotfi Raissi's lawyer, Jules Carey, said to Amnesty International on Friday that "the allegations of terrorism were utterly ruinous to Mr Raissi both personally and professionally" and that he hoped that the decision to compensate Lotfi Raissi "marks a new chapter in his life and that his rehabilitation will begin."
Source: Amnesty International.
New book: Aini Kothopkothon
Tanzim's book 'Aini Kothopkothon' (Law Conversation) is a collection of interviews of 33 legal giants of the country. As a journalist Tanzim took the interviews while he was working with the law page of the leading national daily Prothom Alo. In that sense, the interviews appeared in the page of the newspaper at some point of time. However, its bookish appearance certainly is an accumulation of legal thoughts on diverse issues. Tanzim has pondered over the answers of pertinent questions on issues like politics, caretaker government, rule of law, democracy, legal system, police reform, family law affairs, environment, human rights and the constitution from the legal luminaries of the country. The book would be of ready reference for the lawyers, legal researchers, students and the interested ones. ['Aini Kothopkothon', Tanzim Al Islam, Polol:2010]