No Payout for Chiswick based 9/11 Man

Pilot wrongly accused of terror plot involvement

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Lofti Raissi

Chiswick resident says false 9/11 charges destroyed his life


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The Chiswick resident falsely accused of training the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks has lost his claim for compensation in the High Court.

Lofti Raissi, a 32 year old Algerian, was held in jail for 5 months after the FBI made a request to extradite him. His legal representatives are saying that as the case against him was completely without foundation he should have been be entitled to compensation.

Lord Justice Auld and Mr Justice Wilkie ruled that his detention was as part of an extradition case that was not "in the domestic criminal process" and thus did not come within the compensation scheme.

He was arrested with his brother and sister at gunpoint 10 days after the September 11th attacks at his home near Heathrow airport. He was held initially on the basis that he had failed to declare a tennis injury when applying for a US pilot's license. The judge was told that he should not be given bail because this was just a holding charge as he was about to be charged with conspiracy to murder. However, the case against him quickly unravelled as documentary and video evidence proved to be erroneous. He was released on bail in February 2002 and then finally exonerated by a judge who ruled that there was no evidence against him.

Speaking after the ruling, Mr Raissi said, after the case, "The court's decision allows the home secretary to ignore the part played by those public bodies in ruining my life.I have no choice but to keep my faith in British justice and pray that it won't be too much longer in coming. The reality is that because of my profile of being Algerian, Muslim, Arabic and an airline pilot, I suffered this miscarriage of justice."

February 23, 2007