By Ray Fleming

THE name of Binyamin Mohamed first appeared in this space on 26 February 2009. He had just returned to his home in Britain from imprisonment without trial at Guantanamo Bay and earlier detention in Pakistan where he claimed he had been tortured “by people who were receiving questions and materials from British intelligence.” In the past twelve months I have written here on three further occasions about the way in which the Foreign Office was frustrating Mohamed's efforts by legal means to hold British intelligence to account for the suffering he had experienced during his imprisonment. The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, has told the House of Commons on several occasions that Britain does not condone the use of torture in any circumstances and that details of Mohamed's case could not be revealed because to do so would breach security agreements with the United States.

In the latest development it has become known that the Foreign Office has tried to get changes to the draft written opinion of a senior judge, Lord Neuberger, that Britain's Security Services had failed to respect human rights, had failed to renounce participation in “coercive interrogation” practices and had deliberately misled Parliament. Mr Miliband continues to defend his position, which may prove to be untenable. Yesterday the Lord Chief Justice said that it is the mistreatment of a suspect, Binyamin Mohamed, which is at issue, not national security. The consequences of this case may be profound.