Friday, December 20, 2013

Britain spies on lawyers

And while we're on the subject of torture and rendition: it seems the British government is eavesdropping on lawyers for a man they rendered to torture in Libya:

Lawyers acting for a prominent Libyan dissident who was tortured after he was seized in a joint British and US operation have said they believe their communications are being intercepted by GCHQ, the government's electronic eavesdropping agency.

They are seeking an urgent injunction from the investigatory powers tribunal, which hears complaints about the activities of the security and intelligence agencies. They lodged a complaint after revelations about GCHQ's mass surveillance programmes, leaked by Edward Snowden, were published in the Guardian.


The government's lawyers have declined to give written assurances that communications between Belhaj and his lawyers have not been intercepted.

Which is basically an admission of guilt. After all, it wouldn't exactly be hard for them to say "no, we're respecting the law, and the principle of legal privilege, and not spying on people who are suing us in an effort to advantage our case". The fact that they refuse to say that tells us all we need to know - and makes a mockery of any claim that Britain's victims will receive justice from British courts.