High Court shocked by US obstruction in Guantánamo torture case

Andy Worthington, 23.10.08

Binyam Mohamed“Contempt of court” is the title of an article I wrote for the Guardian’s “Comment is free” section today, in which I looked at the UK High Court’s latest judgment in the case of British resident and Guantánamo prisoner Binyam Mohamed, a victim of “extraordinary rendition” and torture who is engaged in a transatlantic struggle to secure exculpatory evidence proving that his confessions — of involvement with al-Qaeda and a “dirty bomb” plot — were extracted through the use of torture.

On Tuesday I reported how the US Defense Department had dropped Binyam’s proposed trial by Military Commission (and those of four other prisoners) following the resignation of Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, the prosecutor in all five cases, and this latest article brings the British side of the story up to date. It is, of necessity, inconclusive, as the judges are awaiting a ruling on the exculpatory evidence in a US court, but it was clear yesterday that Lord Justice Thomas and Mr. Justice Lloyd Jones were appalled by the lengths to which the US administration seems prepared to go to avoid having to release the evidence.

I intend to write about the judgment in more detail in the near future, but in the meantime I hope that this article captures the essence of yesterday’s ruling.

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press/the University of Michigan Press).

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