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The British government is trying to force a case examining its role in the rendering of an opponent of Muammar Gaddafi back to Libya in 2004 to be heard in a secret court, or not at all.In the first preliminary hearing over the claim brought by Abdel Hakim Belhadj, a prominent rebel fighter-turned-politician, the government's lawyers held on Tuesday that the case should either not go to trial in the UK, or that UK officials were "immune" from prosecution.Jack Straw, former British foreign secretary, and Sir Mark Allen, a former senior MI6 officer, also stand accused by Belhadj for their role in the rendition."Obviously it's very embarrassing for [the British officials], that they've been involved in torture and secret courts," Donald Campbell, a spokesperson for the London-based human rights NGO Reprieve, told Al Jazeera.Belhadj and Fatima Boudchar, his heavily pregnant wife, were captured in exile in China. The "rendering" operation was co-ordinated between the UK, US and Libyan intelligence agencies.After being transferred back to Libya, Belhadj, who fought Gaddafi's rule for decades, was held in Tripoli's notorious Abu Salim prison, where he faced years of torture.Belhadj has offered to settle the matter out of court if the British government agrees to pay a token amount of one British pound each, apologise and admit liability. The defendants have refused these terms.