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Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 17:31 GMT
Pilot's brother wins compensation
Lotfi Raissi (centre) with his wife and mother in 2002
Mr Raissi was freed in 2002 when a judge threw out an extradition case
The brother of an Algerian pilot falsely accused of training the 9/11 hijackers has won compensation for his own arrest and detention for 42 hours.

The compensation award against the Met Police comes despite the pilot himself, Lotfi Raissi, being denied a similar claim over his five-month detention.

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

All three were eventually cleared and released from custody.

Compensation for Mr Raissi's brother, Mohamed, who lives in Hounslow, Middlesex, will be determined at a future hearing.

The Metropolitan Police, which arrested all three on 21 September 2001, was granted permission to appeal against the ruling.

Lotfi Raissi - who was the first person accused of participating in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon - had his bid for compensation rejected in February 2007.

Arrest unjust

In the latest ruling, Mr Justice McCombe said the decision to arrest Sonia Raissi, a French national who worked as a customer service representative at Heathrow, was justified.

"It must have been reasonable to suspect that if Lotfi was possibly involved, she too might be complicit in the offences," he said of the couple, who lived Colnbrook, Berkshire at the time and now live in Chiswick, west London.

She had been with Lotfi Raissi abroad when he "might well have been thought to" to be carrying out training which one of the 9/11 attackers received, said the judge.

In the case of Mohamed Raissi, the reasons behind the arrest went no further than the family relationship and the fact that the two men lived near one another.

"In my judgment those grounds were not sufficient to justify his arrest," said the judge.

Lotfi Raissi was denied damages because his detention was related to an extradition request from the United States.

Lotfi Raissi transcript
15 Feb 02 |  Newsnight

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