Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar are challenging DPP’s refusal to charge ex-MI6 officer for his alleged role in torture

A challenge to the director of public prosecution’s refusal to charge the former MI6 officer Sir Mark Allen for his alleged role in rendition and torture must be heard in public, the high court has been told.

The extraordinary sequence of legal battles generated by the abduction of the Libyan dissident Abdel Hakim Belhaj in 2004 intensified on Thursday when senior lawyers clashed over whether a “criminal cause or matter” can be the subject of a civil court case.

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