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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Iraq detainee loses court appeal
British forces in Basra
Mr Jedda has been held in Basra since October 2004
A terror suspect being held by UK forces in Iraq without charge or court access has lost the latest round of a test case challenge over his detention.

Hilal al-Jedda, who has dual British and Iraqi nationality, has been held in Basra since October 2004.

The Court of Appeal dismissed his challenge to a High Court ruling that his continued detention was unlawful.

Mr Jedda, 48, who denies involvement in terrorist activities, can take his case to the House of Lords, the court said.

Last August, Mr Jedda, who lived in London after gaining asylum, asked two London judges to rule that his detention was unlawful and breached his human rights. They rejected his claim but granted him leave to appeal.

However, on Wednesday at the Court of Appeal in London, Lords Justice Brooke, May and Rix unanimously dismissed his challenge to last year's ruling.

Lord Justice Brooke also announced Mr Jedda's application for permission to take his case on to the Lords would be granted.

Mr Jedda was born in Iraq and was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK in 1994.

He was initially detained by American troops before being handed over to UK forces at the Shaibah Divisional Detention Facility, Basra.

In October 2004, he took his children to Baghdad via Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to meet his new wife, having divorced his first wife in 2001.

The Ministry of Defence has said it suspected Mr Jedda of being a member of a terrorist group involved in weapons smuggling and attacks with explosives.

'Family reasons'

Mr Jedda denies the allegations and has said his visit was for family reasons and nothing to do with terrorism.

During last August's hearing, Nigel Giffin QC, appearing for Mr Jedda, said his client had "simply been interned" by army officers using powers claimed to have been provided by UN Security Council Resolution 1546, passed in June 2004.

We hope that the House of Lords will rule that Mr Jedda's continuing detention is unlawful
Mike Blakemore
Amnesty International

This internment breached Mr Jedda's Article 5 right under the European Convention on Human Rights not to be deprived of his liberty, except in accordance with due legal process, he said.

The MoD has defended the detention on the grounds that the resolution "disapplied" all human rights protection from terror suspects and authorised a system of indefinite detention without trial.

But no legal power had been given to the Multi-National Force in Iraq to disapply human rights laws, argued Mr Giffin.

But the High Court judges had rejected the basis of Mr Jedda's case - that the detention was contrary to the rights conferred on him by Article 5 and that Defence Secretary John Reid was "acting unlawfully in refusing to return him from Iraq to the United Kingdom".

Human rights group Amnesty International UK said it was disappointed at the ruling "which effectively rubberstamps" the detention.

Media director Mike Blakemore said Mr Jedda was one of nearly 14,000 detainees held without charge or trial in Iraq.

"It is shocking that the multinational forces are detaining thousands of people without charge or trial and we hope that the House of Lords will rule that Mr Jedda's continuing detention is unlawful."

Country profile: Iraq
22 Jul 05 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Iraq
20 Jul 05 |  Country profiles

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