Belhadj was rightly miffed that the UK government had a hand in his kidnap and torture, and did what any sensible person would do and sued. Such is the watertight case of UK plc that MI6 has allegedly offered a million spondoolees (of your money, dear tax payer) to get Mr Belhadj to forget the whole affair. Fortunately he is more principled and greedy than that and is looking forward to his day in court.
It now gets more interesting, because according to press reports, the Met is going to take a look into the affair, and may be about to question Straw or even Blair. The latter shouldn't be hard to find because you dear tax payer are still paying for three of the Met's finest to keep him out of trouble 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
No doubt there will be the usual bluster and fobbing off, but things do not look to good for either Blair or Straw, because our legal department have been hard at work and ferreted out that under The Intelligence Services Act of 1994, ‘authorisation of acts outside the British Isles’ can only be signed off as a result of ‘authorisation given by the Secretary of State’. No chance of blaming a lowly Home Office minister then, although some authorities think that "the Secretary of State" could also include the Prime Minister, although I find it hard to agree with it on the facts, although equally I don't see that stopping Blair.
Let's look forward to some doubletalk from Straw about "always being opposed to extraordinary rendition" (even when he or the Prime Minister authorised it), and the same from Blair along the lines of "well, I may have authorised it (or some play on words to that effect), but I am not the Secretary of State so I am not responsible".
Last year, Richard Dearlove, formerly head of MI6, told us it was a political decision to hand over opponents of the Libyan government, and a few years ago David Miliband told Parliament that Diego Garcia had been used by rendition flights on two occasions in 2002.
Join the dots to get the full picture