UK Gov. cannot use secret evidence in Guantanamo torture case

On 4 May, the Court of Appeal ruled that courts may not resort to closed hearings to admit classified evidence in civil trials. The case originates from a civil lawsuit against the UK Government for false imprisonment and conspiracy to injure torture brought by six former Guantánamo detainees.

The former detainees – Binyam Mohamed, Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil el-Banna, Richard Belmar, Omar Deghayes and Martin Mubanga – have denied any involvement in terrorism and allege that MI5 and MI6 aided and abetted their unlawful imprisonment and extraordinary rendition to various locations around the world, including Guantánamo. They are seeking compensation for abuse and wrongful imprisonment.

The court of appeal has dismissed an attempt by MI5 and MI6 to suppress evidence of their alleged complicity in the torture and secret transfer of British residents to Guantánamo Bay, ruling that the use of closed proceedings would breach the common law principle of fair trial and was contrary to the Civil Procedure Rules.

In another case, the Court of Appeal upheld the use of closed hearings, with Special Advocates and the provision of a summary of the classified evidence to the defendant, before the Employment Tribunals. The case was brought by Mr Tariq for racial and religious discrimination by the Home Office, after he was suspended from duties and his security clearances had been withdrawn because his brother had been arrested, and later released without charge, on suspicion of mounting a terrorist attack.

(h/t ICJ)

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2 Responses

  1. […] Appeal rejected a request by the Government that evidence in the compensation claim should be kept secret from the […]

  2. […] month, the England and Wales Court of Appeal ruled that state intelligence agencies cannot use secret evidence in their defense against abuse accusations by Binyam Mohamed  and several other UK residents […]

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