A man who was wrongly accused of training the September 11 attackers will be given compensation, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed.
Jack Straw told Algerian Lotfi Raissi he is eligible for a payout and the amount will be decided by independent assessor Lord Brennan QC. Last month, the Justice Secretary was given 28 days by the Court of Appeal to decide what should happen.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “In accordance with the decisions of the Court of Appeal of February 2008 and March 2010, and after careful consideration of all the relevant material available to him, the Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, has notified Mr Raissi that he is eligible for compensation.
“The Independent Assessor, Lord Brennan QC, will now be asked to consider the amount to be paid to Mr Raissi. Ministers play no part in determining the amount.” Mr Raissi told BBC News it was the best day of his life.
He said: “I’m completely exonerated now by the Minister of Justice and I’m delighted. “My life was destroyed, my career was destroyed. I can’t even find the words. It was hell for me and for the last nine years.” He said he hoped he can now “turn the page” and reprise his career as a pilot.
Mr Raissi told the broadcaster the battle to clear his name was “not a question about the compensation”. He said: “I was fighting for justice and what I want at the end of it is an apology.”