Pilot Battles Over 9/11 Allegations

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Wins Libel Case...

An Algerian-born pilot has successfully sued one of Britain's largest newspapers for libel after he was arrested there, at the request of the FBI, just after 9/11. Now Lotfi Raissi is going after the U.S. government. Raissi spent five months in London's Belmarsh and was freed in February 2002. Raissi now claims to have been defamed by U.S. government agencies and has won his case against the Daily Mail, of London. In one of its articles headlined "Flight Terror Suspect Stole Identity of 74-year-old Grandmother," the paper claimed Mr. Raissi had dishonestly used the social security number of a dead grandmother, Dorothy Hansen, to create a fake U.S. identity. Raissi claims the editorial put his life at risk during the incarceration. After a long legal battle, Raissi won his libel case with the newspaper. The newspaper publicly apologized "for any distress caused" and had agreed to pay Mr. Raissi an undisclosed amount of damages and reimbursement of his legal costs. "It wasn't a matter of money. It was a matter of principal and clearing my name," Raissi told the BBC. "The most important thing is that justice prevailed."