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MI5 misled MPs over Briton’s secret rendition, court told

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Richard Norton-Taylor
London Guardian
Saturday, Aug 2, 2008

MI5 misled MPs about what it knew of the whereabouts of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident who says he was tortured before being secretly rendered to Guantánamo Bay, the high court was told yesterday.

Mohamed’s lawyers also accused MI5 of not looking “too hard” at what was being done to him. The claims were made as the government came under renewed pressure after a former senior American official told Time magazine that the US imprisoned and interrogated at least one terrorist suspect on Diego Garcia, the UK territory in the Indian Ocean, contradicting repeated assurances by David Miliband, the foreign secretary.

Lawyers for Mohamed yesterday demanded the release of information in the government’s hands which, they say, shows he was subject to extraordinary rendition, held incommunicado, and tortured. The government argues that disclosing the information would jeopardise Britain’s diplomatic and intelligence relationship with the US.

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Ben Jaffey, counsel for Mohamed, told the court that in his witness statement an MI5 officer in the case said Britain’s security and intelligence agences “did not know where he [Mohamed] was” after he was flown out of Pakistan in 2002.

Yet MI5 suggested to parliament’s intelligence and security committee that it believed Mohamed was in US custody, Jaffey said. That was why in its report on the case last year, the committee concluded it was “understandable” MI5 did not seek assurances about Mohamed’s treatment. The committee was “not given the full picture”, Jaffey told the high court. MI5 suggested then that Mohamed was in US custody, yet it now conceded that he was in a “location unknown”, he said.

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This article was posted: Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 6:53 am

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