UK High Court orders disclosure of redacted torture allegations

[JURIST] A British High Court ruled [judgment, PDF] Friday that previously redacted text regarding the alleged torture of former Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed [JURIST news archive] should be publicly disclosed. The text in question relates to Mohamed's allegations that, while being held in Pakistan, he was tortured by Pakistani agents and interrogated by US and UK agents who were complicit in his abuse. The seven paragraphs at issue were not made public in the court's 2008 ruling on the matter at the request of Foreign Secretary David Miliband [official profile], the listed defendant. Miliband and others were concerned that the release of the information would pose a risk to the national security of the UK and its relations with the US. Lord Justice John Thomas and Justice David Lloyd Jones reversed their prior holdings, concluding that:


[A]s the public interest in making the paragraphs public is overwhelming, and as the risk to national security judged objectively on the evidence is not a serious one, we should restore the redacted paragraphs to our first judgment...[and] shall therefore re-issue our first judgment with the paragraphs restored.

After the court's ruling, Miliband said that the UK government was "deeply disappointed" and maintained a strong interest to appeal [statement]. Miliband said that the "summary of US intelligence material" to be released goes to the "heart of the efforts made to defend the security of the citizens of [the UK]."

In July, the UK Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) [official website] announced that it would investigate [JURIST report] Binyan's alleged mistreatment by British intelligence officers. In May, London High Court judges agreed to reconsider a prior decision [JURIST reports] to redact information from a ruling regarding Binyam after it was challenged on the grounds that the information may be essential to his defense. Following four years of detention at Guantanamo, Binyam was returned to the UK in February. He was originally sent to the prison based on suspicion of war crimes in connection with an alleged involvement with al Qaeda attacks on the US. The charges against him were dismissed [JURIST report] in October 2008.


 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.