Miliband fails in court bid to keep 'torture proof' secret

Law Editor,Robert Verkaik
Saturday 30 August 2008 00:00 BST

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Louise Thomas

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The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, has failed to persuade the High Court that evidence which could help prove the innocence of a British resident held in Guantanamo Bay must remain secret.

Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones ruled yesterday that Mr Miliband had not properly considered allegations of "medieval" torture made by Binyam Mohamed against his captors.

Mr Mohamed, 30, an Egyptian national who came to Britain in 1994 seeking asylum, says MI6 intelligence supports his case that confessions he made were extracted under torture.

The court, which has already ruled that the Government possesses potentially vital evidence relating to Mr Mohamed's defence against terrorism allegations, gave the Foreign Office a further week to reconsider its application for an order banning disclosure of the information.

The court found that Mr Miliband's evaluation "failed to address, in light of the allegations made by [Binyam Mohamed], the abhorrence and condemnation accorded to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment."

At the same time the Government was accused of misleading MPs who last year investigated claims that Britain was indirectly involved in the kidnap and torture of terror suspects.

Andrew Tyrie MP, chair of the all-party parliamentary group on rendition, said the judges' ruling "confirmed the concern I have had for several years: that the UK is complicit in extraordinary rendition".

Mr Mohamed faces a possible US death penalty over claims that he was an al-Qa'ida member.

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