Britain's national security and the lives of its citizens will be put at risk if the High Court publishes its findings on what happened to former terror detainee Binyam Mohamed at the hands of the CIA.
That was the effect of letters from the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and CIA officials, two judges were told in London yesterday.
The letters warned that the US, even under the new Obama administration, will review its intelligence-sharing agreement with the UK if the court releases seven brief paragraphs about Mr Mohamed's treatment into the public domain. They are central to the former Guantanamo Bay detainee's claim that he was subjected to torture with the consent of UK authorities.
The hearing was adjourned after Lord Justice Thomas, who noted that the paragraphs themselves did not pose any threat to national security, ordered a transcript of the hearing to be given to the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, who lawyers said had assessed the US threat as having a "high risk threshold".