A jihadist who remains in a Scottish prison even though he has served his terror-related sentence has launched a bid for freedom.

Former asylum seeker Nasserdine Menni has already served his time for helping to fund a suicide bombing in Sweden in 2010.

But the Algerian remains locked up in Low Moss jail in East Dunbartonshire as the Home Office tries to remove him from Britain.

Menni, The Herald can reveal, has begun twin legal actions against the UK Government.

The first is against deportation to Algeria, where Amnesty International and other organisations have warned of torture and other human rights abuses.

His second case seeks his release from jail pending a decision on his removal.

The Home Office, which refuses to comment on individual cases, is understood to have sought assurances from Algeria that Menni - who fled that country years ago - would not be tortured upon his return.

The UK Government, however, is not thought, as yet, to have received such assurances.

Legal insiders believe British authorities now feel caught in a judicial Catch 22 that could take years to resolve: for the time being they can neither deport Menni, nor, for security reasons, can they release him.

The Menni case echoes that of the decade-long battle to deport extremist cleric Abu Qatada from London.

The Palestinian - who was said to have links with Al Qaeda - fought all the way to the European Court of Human Rights to avoid being sent to his native Jordan, where he was due to stand trial.

Qatada was eventually deported in 2013 after Jordan guaranteed it would not use evidence gathered through torture against him.

Menni's solicitor Rai Khan of RH & Co in Glasgow had no comment on the case.

However, lawyers familiar with such issues stress there is an absolute prohibition on deportation to any country where there is a risk of torture.

Advocate Niall McCluskey, speaking generally on the issue of deporting to nations where there is a danger of torture, said: "Unless the UK government can show that the guarantees of no torture are 100 per cent waterproof, it would be unlawful to deport anyone under the European Convention of Human Rights.

"Under immigration law, the authorities can detain somebody pending deportation.

"But there comes a point where deportation is found unlawful, then a detained person would have to be liberated."

Menni, whose sentence ended last summer, is understood to be being held in prison rather than in the Dungavel immigration detention centre in Lanarkshire because of security concerns.

The 41-year-old was jailed for seven years in 2012 after being found guilty of supporting suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwahab, who blew himself up in Stockholm in December 2010 in a bid to kill Christmas shoppers.

Abdulwahab died in the blast and two other people were hurt, sending a wave of horror throughout the Nordic world.

Menni had deposited £5,725 to help pay for Abdulwahab's trips for "jihad" and sent another £1,000 to the Iraqi-born Swede's wife after his death.

The Algerian had been living in Glasgow under an assumed name and nationality, one of several identities he has used. Despite his conviction, Menni has never admitted his guilt. Menni's lawyers have argued there was no evidence of incriminating communication between him and Abdulwahab.

Last summer his sentence was cut on appeal from seven years to three.

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone suggested this term was too lenient

He said: "The priority above all else has to be public safety.

"Many people will think a man found guilty of such a potentially horrific crime should be kept inside for far longer than three years.

"We've seen in the past how dangerous criminals and their legal teams can have a field day when these cases come around.

"That's why the sooner this case is resolved, the better it will be for public safety and the taxpayer."

Pauline Kelly, of Amnesty International's Scottish wing, said Algeria's human rights record was "atrocious" human rights record despite recent commitments to improve.

She said: "The Algerian Government has taken no steps to investigate thousands of enforced disappearances and continues to reject long-requested visits by key UN bodies , including those concerned with torture."