A constant drip of false hope and false promises about his release was to torture Mr Al Sarraj.

Following his arrest at Erbil, in northern Iraq, on September 15 he was told he could be released after six days, then two weeks and then 28 days.

Pleading with his interrogators got him nowhere; one guard told him “You can take your time here, you can take a rest”.

Mr Al Sarraj said: “I told them I don’t want to rest, I say the truth, you have to do the right thing. You can ask me anything.

“You think you can’t imagine these questions are being directed at you, you feel it is so unfair. It made me very sad, very upset.”

In February he appeared in an Iraq court and was found innocent on April 8.

But the news was only broken to him by Shereen when she visited more than a week later.

A further blow came when the American authorities said they could not find any reference of his court appearance.

“On May 18 I was told they had found it, but I would have to wait to be released in a ‘safe and orderly manner’.

“Then on July 21, I was told I would be released the next day and was rounded up with about 30 other prisoners, handed US$25, given a medical test and eye scan and made to sign a pledge of good behaviour. But, at the last minute, I was lead back to the camp. I couldn’t believe it.

“I could just about cope with everything else, but the uncertainty over my future was crushing.”

Told it was a “mistake”, Mr Al Sarraj continued to send 5:10 forms asking for information.

On September 30 he was finally released.

But it was not until last week that he finally touched down in Heathrow after waiting in Turkey for his passport, which was lost in the arrest, to be finalised.

“To know I’m safe, I’m on English soil and I’m not moving. I can’t explain it. I was just so happy.”

Now reunited with Shereen on British soil, Mr Al Sarraj bears no hatred or anger, but just a desire for eventual justice.

“I just want to thank Tom Brake for all his work and the Government of the UK in dealing with this case in an open-minded way and I thank the Sutton Guardian for following this case and supporting my wife.”