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Pakistani man has 'drone' case against UK Government dismissed

A Pakistani national whose father was killed by a Coalition drone strike has had his case against the UK Government thrown out by the Court of Appeal, reports the Daily Mail.

Noor Khan was seeking to argue in court that a British intelligence agent who provided location information to the US to facilitate a drone strike was effectively 'encouraging or assisting' murder, and that the UK Government could be held responsible for such actions.

Mr Khan's father was a local official who attended a meeting in North Waziristan in 2011 aimed at settling a local dispute. The US targeted the meeting with a drone strike, killing many of the attendees including Mr Khan's father.

Mr Khan's case was already dismissed by the High Court, and this week a panel of three Court of Appeal judges also threw out his case. The decision marks the end of the road for Mr Khan, who was told he will not be allowed to continue his case.

Mr Khan was seeking a ruling that a British citizen working for the intelligence services could not benefit from 'combat immunity' in regard to their actions in the field.

Lawyers representing the Foreign Office said that any consideration by a UK court of actions taken by the US military in Pakistan would be considered damaging to international relations.

The head of the civil division of the Court of Appeal, the Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, heard the case alongside Lord Justice Laws and Lord Justice Elias.

They ruled that there was no way the case could be heard without seriously criticising the actions of the United States, and that UK courts would only do so in exceptional circumstances.

"There are no such exceptional circumstances here," said Lord Dyson.

Mr Khan's case was supported by human rights charity Reprieve.

"It is shameful that the risk of embarrassing the US has trumped British justice in this case. It now appears that the UK Government can get away with murder, provided it is committed alongside an ally who may be sensitive to public criticism," said a spokesman for the charity.