News breaks that Britain did know CIA tortured suspect

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  • Relations between Britain and the U.S. could be harmed by court ruling that revealed the tortuous treatment of terror suspect Binyam Mohamed

    Ministers are facing immense pressure to hold a public inquiry into recent revelations that the secret service was aware of a terror suspect from Britain getting tortured by the CIA.

    The uproar comes after senior judges ordered the Government to publish previously unseen court documents that revealed Binyam Mohamed, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, had been shackled, threatened and continuously deprived of sleep by interrogators.

    The judgment was published after David Miliband, the foreign secretary, lost a bid to prevent senior judges form discussing it.

    Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for President Barack Obama, said: ‘We’re deeply disappointed with the court’s judgment…because we shared this information in confidence and with certain expectations.

    ‘As we warned, the court’s judgment will complicate the confidentiality of our intelligence-sharing relationship with (Britain), and it will have to factor into our decision making going forward.’

    David Miliband had fought the disclosure, knowing that it would endanger future co-operation between London and Washington, but judges insisted there was ‘overwhelming’ public interest at stake.

    Mohamed, 31, who came to Britain in 1994 seeking asylum from Ethiopia, spent almost seven years in U.S. custody.

    Following a lengthy campaign from his supporters, he became the first prisoner to be released from Guantanamo Bay and returned to Britain in February last year.

    The court papers, disclosed yesterday, confirmed that he had been exposed to brutal treatment by the United States authorities.

    But it also emerged that ministers made a successful last-minute attempt to remove some of the most damning comments by the MI5 from the paperwork.

    Now, opposition MPs, and human right groups, are demanding a full judicial inquiry into the case, insisting that as much evidence as possible be heard in public.

    Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, said: Anyone who has followed this case closely…will recognise that knowledge of the American use of torture remained in the secret service but was almost certainly passed on to the highest level of Government.’




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