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Wrongly accused 9/11 case pilot can claim damages

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Wrongly accused 9/11 case pilot can claim damages

Old 14th Feb 2008, 11:46
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Wrongly accused 9/11 case pilot can claim damages

I hope this guy gets a result. What a nightmare to endure!
( A friend of mine,an ex freighter captain was wrongly locked up in an African prison for six months some years ago. Maggie Thatcher oiled the wheels to get him out.)
From the BBC website


A pilot wrongly accused of training the 9/11 hijackers is entitled to claim damages, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Judges said evidence suggested police and prosecutors were responsible for "serious defaults" in detaining Lotfi Raissi in jail for nearly five months.

The ruling means the government has to reconsider the 33-year-old's claim for compensation, which it had refused.

Mr Raissi wants an apology and says his claim may run into millions of pounds. The government has said it may appeal.

He first applied for compensation in March 2004 under a Home Office scheme for people deprived of their liberty because of a miscarriage of justice.

They destroyed my life, they destroyed my career - for this I will never, ever forgive them

Speaking after the judgement, Mr Raissi, of west London, said he had suffered a miscarriage of justice, and had now been "completely exonerated".

"I am very glad. I always had faith in British justice.

"Surely I can expect to hear from the home secretary with the long-awaited apology very soon."

He said his wrongful arrest had left him blacklisted as a pilot and unable to work.

"They destroyed my life, they destroyed my career. For this I will never, ever forgive them," he said.

David Blunkett, who was Home Secretary when the Raissi case came to court in 2002, said the director of public prosecutions and the attorney general were responsible for deciding whether to take a case through the courts, not the home secretary.

The Home Office said the court's judgement reversed a decision made by the divisional court in the secretary of state's favour.

He considers that, unless he receives a public acknowledgement that he is not a terrorist, he will be unable to get his life back together again

Lord Justice Hooper

"We are considering the implications and whether or not to appeal," a Home Office spokesman said.

In a statement, the Crown Prosecution Service said: "We will study the issues raised which affect us.

"The judgement reaches no firm conclusions regarding the CPS and we were not formally involved in the proceedings."

Blacklisted

In giving the court's judgment, Lord Justice Hooper said: "The public labelling of the appellant as a terrorist by the authorities in this country, and particularly by the CPS, over a period of many months has had and continues to have, so it is said, a devastating effect on his life and on his health.

"He considers that, unless he receives a public acknowledgement that he is not a terrorist, he will be unable to get his life back together again."

Mr Raissi has said his claim will include compensation for the time spent in prison and the money he paid to train as a pilot, estimated at about 60,000.

He is currently not working and says he is blacklisted from working for any airline. He also intends to claim for compensation for the loss of his career.

Mr Raissi says he also plans to claim for damage to his health and the general effect on his life and his family.

His brother, Mohamed, was also arrested and detained for 42 hours, but won compensation from the Metropolitan Police last year, the level of which has yet to be determined.

Mr Raissi's wife, Sonia, however had her damages claim for 150,000 for being held for five days rejected by the High Court.

Extradition warrant

The Algerian pilot was arrested under the Terrorism Act at his home in the UK soon after the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington in 2001. He was accused of having trained the 19 hijackers.

After seven days he was released but was re-arrested under an extradition warrant issued at the request of the US government.

He remained in Belmarsh Prison for four-and-a-half months until he was granted bail. The Crown Prosecution Service, which was representing the US, had objected to bail.

In April 2002, a judge ruled that there was no evidence connecting him to terrorism.

His appeal case was originally brought against the home secretary, but following the department's split, a decision on any compensation will be made by the Justice Secretary, Jack Straw.


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Old 14th Feb 2008, 12:13
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This whole case stinks from the beginning. The bottom line is that the security services or who ever took a course of action that has resulted in long term issues for this man that will affect his earning potential for the rest of his life.

You make a mistake you pay....

Shame the same can't be said for those responsible for the jailing of Stefan Kiszko for over 16 years knowing full well he was innocent. Did they loos their pension or were they prosecuted? No. All he got was an award hearing and sadly both he and his mothe died before they received a penny....
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Old 14th Feb 2008, 13:56
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I clearly don't know what he was a 'pilot' of, but assuming something commercial, is getting him trained back to where he was (so he could at least look at going back in at a similar level to where he was), something which the BALPA could push? That is, part of his settlement should be the Home Office paying for his re-training.
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Old 14th Feb 2008, 14:20
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It's scandalous that after coping with the months of false imprisonment (and presumably considerable pressure to "confess") and being cleared of all charges, that he's still blacklisted.

Is there really no airline with the gonads to cut through the paranoia and give the poor man a job?

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Old 14th Feb 2008, 14:26
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Problem is, Ceedee, that whilst an airline might take him on, he might find himself trying to operate out of a country which won't let him mount his steed...
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Old 14th Feb 2008, 14:50
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I take your point completely.
But at least if that happened, he'd have something to challenge rather than being left hanging in no-mans' land.
Surely the first step is to get his licence current and for a company to demonstrate that he *is* actually trustworthy?

Who knows? After being disowned for so many years, maybe he's lost the passion...
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Old 14th Feb 2008, 14:54
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I agree - he'll need to carry around the Home Sec's letter saying he's for quite a while.

No airline is going to take him on until he's got that as they don't want to run the commercial risk of having a plane-load of punters stuck in some hole at 03.00 because the F/O's been extraordinarily rendered. Hence they will only look at him once the Home Sec has been forced to sign the letter confirming he's off the hook.

Companies are there to make $$$/ for their shareholders, it's not their responsibility to 'demonstrate trust' if that can come back & bite 'em.
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Old 14th Feb 2008, 14:58
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Good point -- well made!


I'll draft a letter to my MP this evening.
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Old 14th Feb 2008, 15:38
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I understand he was held for 5 months at US insistence, shouldn't Uncle Sam pick up all the bills?
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Old 14th Feb 2008, 22:10
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The "evidence" was a work of fiction - a fantasy by the FBI - they never produced anything.

As for blacklisted ... I don't know but I imagine getting on the USA's no fly lists makes it tough to be a pilot.
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Old 15th Feb 2008, 00:28
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I'm happy for the guy, must have been bad period of time for him
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Old 15th Feb 2008, 05:44
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Since it was the govt. that gave him grief, the govt should hire him as a pilot, in addition to paying compensation.

GB
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Old 15th Feb 2008, 14:13
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Interesting to see no flight deck crew have defended this poor guy.

Do I take it you still feel he is guilty? And if not would you fly with him as a F/O?
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Old 15th Feb 2008, 14:29
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Forgive me if this is wrong but as the said fellow is Algerian, would it not be quite simple for him to return home (no doubt after we have paid for his training up to scratch again) and then work for his national airline? It would seem a most equitable solution and one that would get him back into the job he clearly loves. The level of compensation then could be agreed about the time spent in prison.
Is this too simple?
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Old 15th Feb 2008, 14:35
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So as he is Algerian you want him to go 'home' '

The silence is deafening.
Do I get the impression that no pilot on here would fly with him?

Give the guy a break.
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Old 15th Feb 2008, 14:42
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Not at all YOP I was suggesting a way he may get back to flying soonest
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Old 15th Feb 2008, 16:40
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censors out

ye old pilot/moderators
reason u see no flt deck crew defending guy is that lots of posts have beeen removed from this thread . no explanation too. anyone got the guts to give me one. there was
1 a post re the un equal us uk extraditon agreeement
2.a xenophbic post
3. my reply to #2
4 others too
anyone wanna explain/apologise
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Old 15th Feb 2008, 18:25
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Working Hard

Not at all YOP I was suggesting a way he may get back to flying soonest
Bah Humbug!!!

Stoic (flight deck retired)
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Old 15th Feb 2008, 18:27
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The other posts were removed because they were nothing to do with the pilot concerned but rants about the failings of the US/UK/Iraq?Al Quaida or whatever. Subsequent replies to those posts were also removed.

Now stop being total Muppets and go and find the same thread over in Jet Blast without the posts removed. There you can join all the other Hamsters who have little else in their lives but to argue, ad nauseam, in never ending circles (Hamster Wheel) their pathetic points of view (as though they make one iota of difference) on the whole mess.

If you want your comments to stay, then try and keep them related to Lofti Raissi and his career/desire to be an airline pilot. We can all read the judgement and can see that there has been a great injustice. We don't need the personal, in-depth reasoning, one way or the other, about why it happened. It did. He's been exonerated. He now needs to get on with his life.

Anyone else who fails to fathom that we are not going to spend out time on here, firefighting petty little flame wars amongst, xenophobes, academics, fantasists, glitterati or anyone who fails to comprehend the difference between this forum and the Jet Blast forum.
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Old 15th Feb 2008, 20:21
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Well said Danny!

Well said!

Stoic

Flight deck (747 Classic) retired
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