UK spy agency chief refuses to testify in parliament rendition probe

[JURIST] Eliza Manningham-Buller [BBC profile], the head of Britain's domestic spy agency MI5 [official website], has refused to testify before a joint parliamentary human rights committee [official website] investigating terror practices, saying she can appear before only the Intelligence and Security Committee [official website] because it safeguards sensitive information. The human rights committee released correspondence with Manningham-Buller on Tuesday in a report [text, PDF] on counterterrorism strategies and human rights. The lawmakers demanded to know from Manningham-Buller whether Britain obtains information from suspects tortured overseas and whether the US had used British airports in alleged extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] flights.

The human rights committee suggested that Britain set up an independent watchdog to monitor MI5 and MI6 [official website], the international intelligence service, and recommended that terrorism suspects held without charge be compensated for their time. AP has more. From the UK, the Guardian has local coverage.

 

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