UK government appeals release of details on ex-Guantanamo detainee's treatment

[JURIST] British government lawyers argued Monday that two UK High Court judges acted irresponsibly when they ruled [judgment text] last month that the details of the detention of Binyam Mohamed [JURIST news archive] in Pakistan in 2002 must be released [JURIST report]. Lawyers representing Foreign Secretary David Miliband [official profile] were appealing the latest in a series of back and forth rulings on whether redacted materials regarding Mohamed's detention should be disclosed. An October interim ruling [JURIST report] by Lord Justice Thomas and Justice Lloyd Jones resulted in a redacted release, which the High Court indicated it would revisit after receiving submissions from both the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) [official website] and Mohamed. In handing down its most recent decision ordering disclosure, Thomas and Jones said that in making public details of a detainee's treatment, "we were not in the judgment 'giving away the intelligence secrets of a foreign country' or making public 'American secrets.'" Both justices were critical of Milliband's efforts to keep the information classified [BBC report], noting that the US had already released similar information on the treatment of Abu Zubayah. The appeal is being heard [Guardian report] by Lord Judge, Lord Neuberger, and Sir Anthony May.

Also last month, a separate judge on the High Court ruled that, in Mohamed's separate suit for damages, information relating to his treatment at Guantanamo Bay may be withheld [JURIST report] under a "closed material procedure." Mohamed was returned to the UK in February, after charges against him were dismissed in October 2008 [JURIST reports]. Mohamed had been held at Guantanamo Bay for four years, on suspicion of conspiracy to commit terrorism [JURIST report].



 

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