UK Govt. to set up torture allegation inquiry

The British Government is expected to announce the details of a judge-led inquiry into claims its security services  were complicit in the torture of terror suspects.

Prime Minister David Cameron and the foreign secretary, William Hague, are understood to have agreed the terms of the inquiry, which is expected to offer compensation in cases, where necessary, and is likely to be held in private.

The government’s reviewer of terrorism legislation, Lord Carlile, said he did not believe the inquiry could be held until the Metropolitan police had decided whether to recommend to the director of public prosecutions (DPP) that charges against intelligence agents should go ahead. But he said this was not the universal view.

There were reports at the weekend, sourced to the Foreign Office, suggesting that the inquiry would examine only one case – that of Binyam Mohamed – and that Cameron had already concluded that the country’s intelligence agencies were guilty only of errors of omission, not commission.

The Government announcement came as part of the government’s defense against a lawsuit filed by the human rights group Reprieve, which has been seeking a review of the country’s torture policy. A UK High Court judge agreed that the country’s policy must be reviewed, but indicated that because lawyers for the government promised new guidelines would be released shortly, the court would take no immediate action.

A report released Monday by Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned  the lack of proper oversight of intelligence information that is received from countries that torture by intelligence services in France, Germany and the UK. HRW also condemned the use of information obtained via torture against suspects at trial.

In a related development, last week the England and Wales High Court ordered the UK Government to disclose the 2002 and the 2004 Guidance documents for the interrogation and treatment of detainees. The documents will be disclosed immediately, unless, as it is likely, the Government will claim public interest immunity.

Last 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 who were held at Guantanamo Bay.

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2 Responses

  1. […] to grant Ahmed leave to appeal comes at a time when the government is finalising the terms of an inquiry to be held into allegations of British collusion in overseas […]

  2. […] government also published rewritten guidance for intelligence and military personnel on how to deal with detainees held by other countries, […]

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