Thursday, February 5, 2009

U.K. Defends Court Ruling on Terror Case Suspect

By Raymond Bonner
February 5, 2009

Facing criticism from political foes and human rights advocates, the British government Thursday defended a court's decision not to release information about a British terrorism suspect who says he was tortured in American custody. The court said it reached its decision because of what it called a threat from the United States to reconsider sharing intelligence with Britain.

In a highly unusual criticism, the court Wednesday expressed dismay that a democracy "governed by the rule of law" would seek to suppress evidence "relevant to allegations of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, politically embarrassing though it might be." ...

At issue in the ruling Wednesday were seven paragraphs that the court had redacted in an earlier opinion in the case, and that it suggested lent credence to the allegations of torture by the suspect, Binyam Mohamed, who is in the U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Mohamed is an Ethiopian who had become a legal resident of Britain. ...

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