US tried to gag British man 'tortured' in Guantanamo

Captive told he would be freed if he pleaded guilty and agreed not to speak to media

The American government tried to force a British resident held at Guantanamo Bay to drop allegations of torture in return for his release, court documents published yesterday revealed.

Binyam Mohamed, 30, held by the US for nearly seven years, was told by the American military that he could win his freedom if he pleaded guilty to terrorism charges, ended his High Court case to prove his claims of torture and agreed not to speak to the media about his ordeal. He rejected the deal.

Details of the extraordinary plea bargain were seized on by Mr Mohamed's lawyers as further evidence to support his allegations that he was illegally detained and brutally tortured after his capture by Pakistani and US security agents in 2002.

The document released by the High Court in London reveals that the plea bargain was offered last year while Mr Mohamed was held in the US naval base in Cuba, but after terrorism allegations against him had been dropped. Mr Mohamed was eventually released from Guantanamo Bay this year and allowed to return home.

Clive Stafford Smith, the director of the legal group Reprieve who has represented Mr Mohamed for four years, said: "The facts reflect the way the US government has consistently tried to cover up the truth of Binyam Mohamed's torture. He was being told he would never leave Guantanamo Bay unless he promised never to discuss his torture, and never sue either the Americans or the British to force disclosure of his mistreatment ... Gradually the truth is leaking out, and the governments on both sides of the Atlantic should pause to consider whether they should continue to fight to keep this torture evidence secret."

Last year, Mr Mohamed's lawyers became engaged in a series of High Court battles to obtain access to 42 documents which they argued supported his case against the US authorities. He claims he was flown to Morocco by the CIA where he was held for 18 months. During this detention he says he suffered barbaric abuse, including repeated razor cuts to his genitals. Last October, Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones ruled at the High Court in London that there was a "clear evidential basis" for accusations that the US government was doing "all it could" to avoid disclosing the documents. They referred to "delays and unexplained changes of course" by the American authorities, and the judges said the documents were "essential" for Mr Mohamed's defence. But they concluded that it was for the US courts to resolve the issues raised.

But yesterday it was disclosed that the judges had heard evidence that the US had drafted a plea bargain for Mr Mohamed to sign. The details could not be included in the judges' October judgment for reasons of confidentiality. They said it was now "appropriate" to reveal details of the agreement in an annex to the judgment consistent with "principles of open justice and the rule of law".

The judges said Clause 7 of the draft agreement required Mr Mohamed, in return for a lighter sentence, to plead guilty to two charges. He also had to agree not to take part in any legal challenge relating to his "capture, detention, prosecution" and detainee combatant status. In return, the maximum period of imprisonment for pleading guilty to the two charges would be 10 years, nine of which would be suspended.

The judges said Mr Mohamed had "wanted it to be made clear to the world what had happened and how he had been treated by the US government since April 2002".

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
peopleBroadcaster has a new role bringing 'the big stories that matter' to US
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Life and Style
Moves to regulate e-cigarettes and similar products as medicines come amid increasing evidence of their effectiveness
healthHuge anti-smoking campaign kicks off on Wednesday
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Arts and Entertainment
Shia LaBeouf is one of Brad Pitt's favourite actors in the world ever, apparently
filmsAn 'eccentric' choice, certainly
Life and Style
An Internet security expert has warned that voice recognition technology needs to be more secure
techExperts warn hackers could control our homes or spend our money simply by speaking
Extras
indybest
News
peopleBenjamin Netanyahu trolled by group promoting two-state solution
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

1st Line Service Desk Analyst

£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Computer Futures

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Computer Futures are currently...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style