Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Perverting the course of justice

Last year, we learned that MI5 had colluded in the torture of Binyam Mohamed. This year, we found out that they'd further colluded with the US to fabricate a threat that intelligence cooperation would be withdrawn in an effort to cover up that abuse. And now, to cap it all off, we find out that they gave false evidence in court in an effort to downplay their responsibility:

Lawyers for the government have admitted that a senior MI5 officer gave false evidence to the high court in the case of former Guantánamo Bay prisoner Binyam Mohamed.

The admission, combined with an apology, is contained in a letter from Treasury solicitor David Mackie to Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones, who tomorrow will hear fresh demands from lawyers representing Mohamed, and the media, for the disclosure of information about who was complicit in his interrogation and torture.

The letter reveals that an MI5 officer, referred to as Witness A, gave "incorrect" evidence to the high court about when the CIA kept British security and intelligence officers informed about Mohamed's secret interrogation.


Mackie also apologised to the high court for not handing over 13 documents which he says should have been passed to the judges. They included six MI5 documents and MI6 documents identified originally by the security and intelligence agencies but subsequently not "selected for disclosure".

This is all symptomatic of an organisation which feels that it is above the law. It is time they were shown they were not. And the first step should be to prosecute their witness for perjury, and their superiors for conspiracy to pervert of the course of justice.