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Guantanamo/Detainees

British Court Blames US Threat for Decision to Keep Torture Evidence Secret

Posted Feb 5, 2009 10:05 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Two British High Court judges say they have refused to release evidence of alleged torture because of a U.S. threat to stop sharing intelligence evidence with the country.

Justices John Thomas and David Lloyd Jones ruled in the case of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident who says he was secretly tortured while in American custody at secret prisons before he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay, according to the New York Times and the Washington Post. He was originally accused in an alleged dirty bomb plot, but charges were dropped last year.

The information kept secret by the court had been supplied by the United States. The opinion made clear the judges ruled with reluctance. “We did not consider that a democracy governed by the rule of law would expect a court in another democracy to suppress a summary of the evidence … relevant to allegations of torture and cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment, politically embarrassing though it might be," the opinion said.

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