Swingeing criticisms of MI5 restored in Guantanamo torture ruling

A major review of MI5’s accountability and trustworthiness looks inevitable after an historic move in the courts right at the end of the week. The missing paragraph 168 of the English Court of Appeal’s ruling in the Binyam Mohamed torture case has been restored in slightly amended form. Lord Neuberger’s stinging judgement is now spelt out in full, that MI5 has a “dubious record” on human rights and torture, and has “an interest in the suppression” of information about the treatment of former terrorism suspects. The court acquits ministers of bad faith in supporting MI5 denials and withholding evidence. And in the words of the Lord Chief Justice the appeal judges reject any idea that they were nobbled by the government into censoring their own judgement in the first place. The immediate question is, when did MI5 know that the Americans had changed their interrogation techniques ; when did they know it and were they complicit in torture in the Mohamed case and others? Adds In a flurry of goverment reaction, Gordon Brown has annnounced that MI5’s revised guidelines will be published soon; the Foreign secretary has denied that MI5 tell lies; and the Home Secretary has turned down a public inquiry on the grounds of ongoing police investigations and a review by the Intelligence and Security Committee of MPs appointed by the PM. Lord Judge said :
the damaging myth may develop to the effect that in this particular case a minister of the Crown or counsel acting for him was somehow permitted to interfere in the judicial process.” He added: “That did not happen and it is critical to the integrity of the administration of justice that if any such misconception may be taking root it is eradicated.”

Lord Judge means by this that the government’s lawyer Jonathan Sumption’s confidential representations to the court to soften the wording of the judgement were perfectly allowable. Accepted: but that doesn’t explain why Lord Neuberger at first accepted Sumption’s plea and then went back on it, after almighty protests. But at least the Appeal Court recovered its nerve and restored the full criticisms, to the evident strong displeasure of ministers.

  • Paddy

    MI5 should be a proscribed terrorist outfit, just like the Gestapo after 1945. Isn’t it odd ther “appalling vista” the terrorist judges of the Crown still wish to deny?

    They join MI5/SAS/RUC precisely because they want to torture and abuse people.

    I see on another thread someone is saying Omagh is Ireland’s greatest tragedy. The FRU/MI5/UVF deaths in Monaghan and Dublin don’t matter. The Forgotten victims even on the day Barron died.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    MI5 have the best spies in the world……Philby, Burgess, McLean, Blunt.
    Unfortunate for Britain that MI5s spies are all working for other countries.

  • BryanS

    Paddy you are so predictable as to be pathetic!

  • joeCanuck

    MI5 tells lies? That is shocking, almost unbelievable.

  • Brian MacAodh

    Only 3 people were waterboarded in America. They make it sound like it was standard procedure

  • Rory Carr

    In which US client states were the others waterboarded on behalf of the coalition forces then, Brian ?

    “…the Foreign secretary has denied that MI5 tell lies…”

    Well we can take that to the bank then.

  • Brian MacAodh

    A lot less than you think, I bet. But I don’t know and neither do you.

    As for MI5, of course they lie. All those agencies lie.

  • tuatha

    Re the alphabet soup agencies of ALL countries, the title of Chapman Pincher’s book, “Their Trade is Treachery” sez it all really. And the weird thing is that the treachery inevitably ends up biting the hand that feeds it – with our taxes.