David Miliband was yesterday accused of an ‘outrageous deception’ after it emerged that his department engineered a threat from the U.S. which helped suppress torture allegations that might embarrass the British government.
The Foreign Office asked the U.S. State Department to write a letter which claimed that Britain’s national security would be at risk if details about the alleged torture of a British resident at Guantanamo Bay became public.
The letter played a key role in the High Court’s decision to prevent the publication of documents about Binyam Mohamed’s alleged ordeal.
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Last night the Tories demanded an explanation from the Foreign Secretary, while the Liberal Democrats said the revelation ‘could represent one of the most outrageous deceptions of Parliament, the judiciary and the British people’.
The judges in the High Court case said Mr Miliband had argued that releasing the documents could lead to the U.S. ‘ revaluating’ its intelligence sharing with the ‘real risk that it would reduce the intelligence provided’.
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The judges described the letter on which the Government based its claim as a clear threat from the U.S. to Britain.
Egyptian-born Mohamed claims he was flown to secret torture centres in Pakistan, Morocco and Afghanistan before being taken to Guantanamo Bay in 2004, that interrogators cut him with a scalpel and that British agents were involved to some degree.