France Launches Case Against Interpol President Over Torture Allegations on Two Britons Detained in UAE

French authorities have launched a case against Interpol president Ahmed Naser al-Raisi of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over allegations of torture and arbitrary detention of two Britons.

Matthew Hedges and Ali Issa Ahmad accuse al-Raisi of having ultimate responsibility for torturing and detaining them arbitrarily in the UAE.

French anti-terror prosecutors have handed the case to an investigating magistrate who will decide whether to press charges, a source close to the investigation, who asked for anonymity, told AFP News on May 11.

The Britons filed their complaint based on universal jurisdiction, which allows states to prosecute serious crimes even if they were committed in another country.

Al-Raisi could potentially be detained for questioning if he sets foot in France.

The Interpol headquarters are in the southeastern French city of Lyon and al-Raisi is already believed to have visited the city several times since January.

Hedges and Ahmad testified before the investigating judge of the specialized judicial unit for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Paris on May 11.

Hedges said that he was detained and tortured in the UAE from May to November 2018 on espionage charges, which he denies.

Ahmad was detained in Dubai for wearing a Qatar football shirt.

“I told the judge about all the terrible things that happened to me when I was arrested in the UAE, about being cut on my body, punched by police officers, and all the other torture I suffered. This includes why I believe that al-Raisi is to blame, as he was the chief of the police and the prison service and so there was no way he didn’t know what was happening to me,” Ahmad told The Guardian after his testimony.

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