BINJAM Mohamed has been a regular visitor to this space since he was released from Guantanamo Bay about a year ago. A British resident, he alleges that he was tortured by US officers in Pakistan and that British Intelligence knew of the treatment he received. This week his case is again in the law courts but on this occasion rather indirectly.
The Foreign Office is appealing to three of Britain's most senior judges against rulings made by Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice Lloyd that paragraphs deleted from previous judgements on Mohamed's case should be restored. The passages in question relate to CIA evidence of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and the Foreign Office is arguing that the deletions should stand in order to maintain mutual trust between the CIA and British Intelligence. The Foreign Office's lawyer said that publishing the paragraphs would be unnecessary and profoundly damaging to the interests of this country and to emphasise his point added that the rulings to publish the paragraphs in question were irresponsible.
Some legal quarters think that there is nothing very secret or overly sensitive in the paragraphs that could not be found elsewhere but that the Foreign Office is fighting so strongly for deletion because of the risk that UK-US intelligence co-operation could be jeopardised in future if it loses the final judgement now in process.