Torture lawyer quits the City

The lawyer representing eight British men accused of terrorist activities in Yemen has resigned from his City solicitor job at Wilde Sapte after suffering from extreme stress.

Rashad Yaqoob, 27, sneaked past airport authorities to enter Yemen earlier this year. He was arrested at gunpoint and then beaten for an hour by police, before contacts in the Yemen government arranged his release.

He is now suffering from a stress condition and last week announced he was quitting the firm.

But he says: “My medical condition is not the only reason why I decided to leave Wilde Sapte.

“It is something I thought long and hard about.”

Steven Blakeley, managing partner at Wilde Sapte, says: “We allowed him to take leave to pursue his interests in the Yemen.

“He now has a stress condition that will not allow him to work in a business like this, and has given his notice.”

Yaqoob says: “My experience in the Yemen led me to change my vocation. I now want to deal with human rights issues and Middle Eastern matters.

“The dealings I have had with the Yemen government have allowed me to build my confidence in this area.

“It was an experience that changed my perception of things – a positive insight that came out of negative events.

“It was hard for me to continue with straight commercial and contract matters when I returned. I want to help people more.”

He adds: “When I went back to Wilde Sapte I had problems. Following the torture, I took off some time due to the stress that I was suffering from.

“It gave me an opportunity to look at things. I now want a position that will use my skills.

“I have not decided on exactly what I will do.

“Wilde Sapte has supported my activities. I have to congratulate them on how they have handled things. They were very supportive throughout.”