Page last updated at 04:56 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Binyam Mohamed torture case ruling at Court of Appeal

Binyam Mohamed
Mr Mohamed: Massive legal battle with ministers

The Court of Appeal is to decide whether to release documents detailing the alleged torture of a UK resident.

Ethiopian-born Binyam Mohamed says UK authorities knew he was being tortured at the behest of the US during seven years of captivity in secret prisons.

On Wednesday three senior judges will rule whether Mr Mohamed should be told what the UK knew about his treatment.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband says releasing the material to Mr Mohamed would damage national security.

The judgement will be delivered by the Lord Chief Justice, Master of the Rolls and President of the Queen's Bench Division, the three most senior Court of Appeal judges in England and Wales.

Detained in Pakistan in 2002, questioned there by MI5 officer
Transferred to Morocco, claims he was tortured in US custody and asked questions supplied by MI5
Later interned in Guantanamo Bay and eventually released in 2009

The key document in the case is a seven-paragraph summary of what the CIA told their MI5 counterparts in London about Mr Mohamed's treatment.

Last year, the High Court said the seven paragraphs should be published saying that they did not believe that the US would stop co-operating with British intelligence officials if the material was made public.

Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones ruled that the risk to national security was "not a serious one" and there was "overwhelming" public interest in disclosing the material.

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However, the summary was kept secret to allow the Foreign Secretary to appeal.

Mr Miliband said that the court had no authority to disclose American secrets which had been handed over to the British under a long-standing principle within the intelligence community that information can be shared but never disclosed without permission.

Lawyers for Mr Mohamed say that the summary and other material in the case gets to the heart of the UK's relationship with the US administration after 9/11.

Mr Mohamed was arrested in Pakistan over a visa irregularity and was handed over to US officials. He was secretly flown to Morocco in 2002.

There, he says he was tortured while interrogators asked him questions about his life in London. He says these questions could only have come from British intelligence officers.

Last year, the police began investigating whether an MI5 officer involved in Binyam's case should be prosecuted for alleged complicity in the former detainee's ill-treatment.

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