'Complicity at highest levels', claims Binyam Mohamed

 

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed, who claims an MI5 officer colluded in his torture, said there had been a "pattern of massive complicity" in criminality at the "highest levels" as it emerged no agents would face charges over his ill-treatment.

The UK resident has claimed a Security Service employee was aware of his ordeal while he was being held in Pakistan in 2002 but prosecutors now say there is insufficient evidence to pursue any British spies through the courts.

Mr Mohamed, who insists his case is not isolated, said their conclusion "fits with the experiences of the last 10 years".

Mr Mohamed, an Ethiopian Muslim convert who lived in west London after seeking asylum in 1994, travelled to Pakistan in 2001 - the year he converted to Islam.

He was arrested there a year later on suspicion of involvement in terrorism, before being "rendered" to Morocco and Afghanistan and flown to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in September 2004.

During this time, he claimed he was tortured by his US captors into falsely confessing to terrorist activities and held incommunicado without access to a lawyer for more than two-and-a-half years.

"The decision that no individual officer is to be prosecuted in the UK for involvement in my rendition and torture in Pakistan and then Morocco and then Guantanamo Bay is the decision that I expected would be made: it fits with the experiences of the last 10 years of my community and of other communities that have had to fight for decades before they get truth, justice, and change," he said.

"The methods that MI5 and MI6 as institutions used and the actions they set in motion from 2002 onwards towards Muslim prisoners across the world were not restricted to what happened to me.

"The CPS does not disagree that what happened to me was criminal. The question is who should be found responsible.

"If there is any further and wider criminal investigation into what happened to others, I believe it would be completely impossible to decide that there has not been a pattern of massive complicity by UK bodies in criminality at the highest levels directed at other Muslim prisoners."

The United States government dropped all charges against him in October 2008 and he was released and returned to Britain in February 2009.

"My experience was not isolated; it was part of a pattern," he said.

"I believe too much evidence exists, with still more coming to light day after day, to allow those in charge to avoid prosecution, even if individual officers in one case have argued they did not know of any bigger picture."

PA

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