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Feb 14,2008
Misidentified 'terrorist' awarded damages
by UPI

LONDON -- An Algerian pilot mistakenly accused of training the Sept, 11, 2001, hijackers is entitled to damages after being wrongly imprisoned, a British court ruled.

Lotfi Raissi was never charged with a terrorism offense but spent five months in Belmarsh high-security prison. Although a judge said there was no evidence linking Raissi to terrorism, the British Home Office had said he wasn't entitled to compensation.

Raissi's appeal, however, was successful, Sky News said, and he will be eligible for compensation.

"I always had faith in British justice and justice is what I have got," he said.

Lord Justice Anthony Hooper, giving the judgment of the Court of Appeal Thursday, said the public labeling of Raissi as a had a "devastating effect on his life and on his health.

Raissi, 33, said his wrongful arrest had ruined his life and left him blacklisted as a pilot and unable to work.

Raissi was arrested at his home 10 days after terrorists struck the United States. He was released after seven days but rearrested at the request of the U.S. government.

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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