Comment at end
26th February, 2010
Now kindly put a sock in it, Chakrabarti, Clegg and mates. We KNOW who is protecting our country’s security, liberty and democracy and it ain’t YOU.
‘GORDON Brown today strongly defended MI5 after the Security Service was strongly criticised by a senior judge over its role in the case of former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Binyam Mohamed.
The Prime Minister said in a statement that he had spoken to MI5 director general Jonathan Evans to express his gratitude for the work the service did protecting the public.
He also announced that the Government would “shortly” be publishing its revised guidelines for the intelligence agencies on the treatment of detainees held overseas.
“The United Kingdom has the finest intelligence services in the world. I have seen for myself their immense bravery and expertise in our defence,” Mr Brown said.
“It is the nature of the work of the intelligence services that they cannot defend themselves against many of the allegations that have been made. But I can – and I have every confidence that their work does not undermine the principles and values that are the best guarantee of our future security.
“We condemn torture without reservation. We do not torture, and we do not ask others to do so on our behalf. We are clear that officials must not be complicit in mistreatment of detainees.
“Wherever serious allegations of potential criminal wrongdoing are made, they are referred to the appropriate authorities.”
Mr Brown was responding to the words of Lord Neuberger, the Master of the Rolls, who said denials by the Security Service of knowing of any ill treatment of US terror suspect detainees “does not seem to have been true” in Mr Mohamed’s case.
The judge ruled the evidence showed that “some Security Services officials appear to have a dubious record relating to actual involvement, and frankness about any such involvement, with the mistreatment of Mr Mohamed when he was held at the behest of US officials”.
The judge’s remarks led to further calls for a full public inquiry into allegations that the UK has been complicit in torture.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson said: “I am deeply disappointed that the court has decided to criticise the Security Service in this way.”
Mr Mohamed says he was tortured in Pakistan in 2002 while held by the US, with the knowledge of MI5.
Foreign Secretary David Miliband asked the Court of Appeal to block a High Court decision to publish a seven-paragraph summary of what MI5 knew about his ill treatment.
The summary showed MI5 was aware Mr Mohamed was being continuously deprived of sleep, threatened with rendition and being subjected to “significant mental stress and suffering”.
Earlier this month, Lord Neuberger and two other top appeal judges – Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, and Sir Anthony May, President of the Queen’s Bench Division, rejected Mr Miliband’s appeal against the High Court summary becoming public knowledge.
A dispute erupted between the Government and the court over a key paragraph in a draft version of Lord Neuberger’s judgment.
Jonathan Sumption QC, representing the Foreign Secretary, said paragraph 168 went “well beyond” anything found by the High Court judges.
As a result the judge altered the paragraph – leading to accusations that he was “watering down” his ruling – and said he would further reconsider it.
Today he reverted to the original paragraph, with limited modifications, saying its findings were “fully supported” by the evidence.’
Earlier judgement today
MI5 officers have been accused by a senior judge of having a “dubious record” over the treatment of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed.
Lord Neuberger said some officers had been less than frank about what they knew about Mr Mohamed’s ill-treatment.
His criticism was made public after an exceptionally unusual court decision to publish his draft legal opinion on MI5’s respect for human rights.
Foreign secretary David Miliband rejected the suggestion MI5 had lied.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson said he was “deeply disappointed” by the ruling.
The judge accepted that his opinion of MI5’s record should be restricted to facts in the Binyam Mohamed case.
NOTE: Anything Shami Chakrabarti agrees with is seriously questionable as far as I am concerned.