Friday, August 29 2014

Investigation launched into torture of Libyan rebel leaders, but no one will face charges for Binyam torture


The BBC reports on the launching of an inquiry by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Metropolitan Police Service into allegations of UK complicity in the rendition and torture of two Libyan men, Abdel Hakim Belhadj and Sami al-Saadi.

In a joint statement the DPP and MPS also refer to their decision not to charge security agents accused of complicity in the torture of British detainee of Guantanamo, Binyam Mohamed.

From the statement:

“Operation Hinton involved the investigation of the alleged involvement of British officials in the ill-treatment and torture of Mr Binyam Mohamed when he was detained in Pakistan between about April and July 2002 and/or when he was detained elsewhere between about July 2002 and early 2004.

“Mr Mohamed has never alleged that any member of either the Security Service or the Secret Intelligence Service was directly involved in the torture and ill-treatment he alleges. The investigation has therefore focused on whether there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of convicting any member of either Service for offences of aiding and abetting torture, aiding and abetting war crimes and misconduct in public office.

“At an early stage of the investigation it was established that a member of the Security Service, Witness B, conducted an interview with Mr Mohamed in Pakistan on 17 May 2002. In October 2010, the CPS advised that there was not a realistic prospect of a conviction for any criminal offences arising out of that conduct. That decision was made public.

“However, the CPS has also concluded that there is insufficient evidence to prove to the standard required in a criminal court that any identifiable individual provided information to the US authorities about Mr Mohamed or supplied questions for the US authorities to put to Mr Mohamed, or was party to doing so, at a time when he or she knew or ought to have known that there was a real or serious risk that Mr Mohamed would be exposed to ill treatment amounting to torture.

“Against that background, it is not possible to bring criminal charges against an identifiable individual.

“In November 2011, the Metropolitan Police received a complaint from a detainee in which specific allegations of criminal wrongdoing were raised in relation to alleged rendition and alleged ill-treatment in Libya. In December 2011, the Attorney General, the Rt. Hon Dominic Grieve QC, wrote to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, drawing attention to that case and one other in which similar issues arose.

“Having considered the advice of the joint CPS/MPS panel, the MPS has decided that the allegations raised in the two specific cases concerning the alleged rendition of named individuals to Libya and the alleged ill-treatment of them in Libya are so serious that it is in the public interest for them to be investigated now rather than at the conclusion of the Detainee Inquiry.”

The full statement can be read here.

Meanwhile, The Independent reports that responding to the decision by the CPS that no one would face charges for complicity in his ill-treatment, Binyam Mohamed stated the following:

"The decision that no individual officer is to be prosecuted in the UK for involvement in my rendition… is the decision that I expected would be made: it fits with the experiences of the last 10 years of my community and of other communities that have had to fight for decades before they get truth, justice, and change."

"The methods that MI5 and MI6 as institutions used and the actions they set in motion from 2002 onwards towards Muslim prisoners across the world were not restricted to what happened to me.
"The CPS does not disagree that what happened to me was criminal. The question is who should be found responsible.

"If there is any further and wider criminal investigation into what happened to others, I believe it would be completely impossible to decide that there has not been a pattern of massive complicity by UK bodies in criminality at the highest levels directed at other Muslim prisoners."









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