Binyam Mohamed: Alleged Torture Victims Facing ‘Secret and one-Sided Justice’

Posted by on Mar 8th, 2010 and filed under Ummah. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Binyam Mohamed is one of six former detainees seeking to sue the Government over Britain’s involvement in their imprisonment

British intelligence services must be stopped from using secret evidence against former Guantanamo Bay detainees, the Appeal Court heard today.

Alleged torture victims seeking to sue the Government over Britain’s complicity in their unlawful imprisonment are facing ‘secret and one-sided’ justice, their lawyer claimed.

Six former detainees are hoping to win damages from the Government over allegations that Britain knew about their ill-treatment.

Their lawyers have begun a challenge at the Court of Appeal against a ruling which would allow the security services and the Government to withhold evidence from the men during the civil case.

Legal experts have warned the judgment threatens British principles of justice and have branded it a ‘constitutional outrage’.

The men’s lawyer Dinah Rose QC said it undermined the former detainees’ right to fair and open justice.

And she warned it could even lead to a Kafkaesque civil trial in which the men bringing the damages claim were not entitled to know the final judgment.

She said: ‘It necessarily permits the ultimate resolution of disputed questions of fact and law in a civil claim, conducted in the High Court, by a secret and one-sided trial.

‘It must also contemplate the production by a court of a secret judgment which would never be disclosed to the claimants or to the public.’

Mr Justice Silber ruled in November that the Home Office, the Foreign Office, the Attorney General, MI5 and MI6 could withhold evidence from the civil case, brought by alleged torture victim Binyam Mohamed and five other UK residents.

The men deny any involvement in terrorism and claim MI5 and MI6 aided and abetted their unlawful imprisonment and extraordinary rendition to various countries and prisons, including Guantanamo Bay.

They say they suffered torture and were subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment, while Britain did nothing to stop their ill-treatment.

The Government and the security services deny the claims and their lawyers argue that they should be allowed to use a ‘closed material procedure’ to keep evidence secret from the former detainees.

It would allow them to use the information to counter the men’s claim for damages, without ever having to disclose the evidence to the men, or make it public.

Instead, special advocates – lawyers who have undergone security vetting – could represent the men’s interest but would be banned from discussing the evidence with the former detainees.

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