British police investigated for exaggerating evidence against 9/11 suspects


LONDON: British police and prosecutors are facing allegations of exaggerating evidence against the only person to be arrested here in connection with the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, a US magazine report said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), a police watchdog, has opened an inquiry into the conduct of the Anti-Terrorism Branch of the police and the Crown Prosecution Service over the arrest of Lotfi Raissi, an Algerian man who was arrested in the days following the 9/11 attacks.

He was held for five months before magistrates rejected all accusations held against him. His wife Sonia and brother Mohammed, arrested on the same day as Lotfi Raissi, were freed after four days.

Raissi, in a separate move, will on Tuesday go to the High Court to seek an apology and compensation from the Home Office (interior ministry) for his career as a pilot that was ruined.

The IPCC's inquiry will focus on an address book, the report said without citing its sources, which prosecutors claimed in 2001 showed a link between Raissi and a senior Al-Qaeda terrorist.

Courts were told then that the address book was owned by Abu Doha, currently imprisoned in Britain. It has since emerged, however, that it actually belonged to Abdelaziz Kermani, who has never been arrested, interviewed or charged by police.