Did the Blair government sign-off on Libya renditions?

Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is facing a legal challenge from two senior Libyan rebels who say they were tortured. Photo: Reuters

For months there have been suggestions that the operation, led by the intelligence service, was ‘signed-off’ by the then Blair government.

Now the former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is at the centre of those claims, he will clearly defend himself rigorously if and when the time comes.

A good deal was gained from Blair’s warm relationship with Ghadaffi, including perhaps a chance to strengthen the fight against terrorism. But the charge is that in exchange the British government compromised some basic principles.

At the heart of the legal action against Jack Straw are questions over the Blair government’s links to Colonel Ghadaffi’s former regime.

The suggestion is that the British helped trick a Libyan rebel Abdel Hakim Belhadj, sending him back to Lybia where he was tortured.

Mr Belhadj is now a senior member of the new Libyan administration.