Former UK AG calls for clarification of government complicity in torture

[JURIST] The former attorney general for England and Wales Lord Peter Goldsmith [JURIST news archive] called for an investigation into whether British intelligence agencies were complicit in the torture of terror suspects abroad. Goldsmith said [Independent report] that government arguments against their complicity in torture by foreign intelligence services had only created more confusion about the issue. He stopped short of calling for a full public inquiry, stating that the government should decide the proper manner in which to clarify the matter. Goldsmith's statements are at odds with those of the government, which has adamantly denied any collusion in torture. Last week, Home Secretary Alan Johnson [official profile] described the allegations as ludicrous lies. The statement by Goldsmith has been viewed [Daily Mail report] as particularly damaging to the government, as it shows the first split in its previously unified response to the allegations, and because Goldsmith was a senior government official throughout the period in which the complicity is alleged to have occurred.

On Friday, Director General Jonathan Evans [official profile] of MI5 [official website] denied [JURIST report] accusations that it had collaborated with the US over the alleged torture of former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Binyam Mohamed [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] in response to criticisms that the organization did not respect human rights, that it misled parliament, and that is supported a culture of suppression. On Wednesday, the England and Wales Court of Appeal [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that the government must disclose seven previously withheld paragraphs outlining the alleged torture of Mohamed. British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband [official profile] accepted the court's decision, disclosing the information.

 

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