Page last updated at 14:36 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Attorney general: Statement in full

The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland QC, has announced a police investigation is to take place in relation to allegations an MI5 agent was complicit in the torture of Binyam Mohamed. Here is her statement in full.

On 23 October 2008, the home secretary referred to me papers relating to allegations of possible criminal wrongdoing in relation to Binyam Mohamed, in order for me to consider whether further action should be taken.

The matter was referred to me in my capacity as an independent guardian of the public interest and the rule of law. I perform this function wholly independently of government.

I have given the matter very careful consideration and have sought the views of the director of public prosecutions.

Both the director and I have thoroughly reviewed the substantial body of material, much of it highly sensitive, which has been referred to me both by the home secretary and by other sources.

This includes the open and closed judgments of the Divisional Court in the case, transcripts of all the evidence given by Witness B, the other evidence and submissions made to the court, the foreign secretary's PII [public interest immunity] certificates, and material from third parties about the case.

We have progressed this important work as quickly as possible.

I have concluded that the appropriate course of action is to invite the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police to commence an investigation into the allegations that have been made in relation to Binyam Mohamed.

I have expressed to the commissioner the hope that the investigation can be taken forward as expeditiously as possible given the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues involved.

The conduct of the investigation will be a matter for the police, with advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.

Any decision on whether any person should be charged with a criminal offence can only be taken following the police investigation on the basis of an independent assessment of the evidence and the public interest, in accordance with the code for Crown prosecutors.

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