December 26, 2009
Police lose battle over evidence of ‘British 9/11’ plot
Scotland Yard must reveal whether it had CIA intelligence
Scotland Yard has been ordered to reveal whether it has any evidence to support
The Times has won a case under the Freedom of Information Act forcing British police to say whether the
The Office of the Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, has upheld a complaint that the Metropolitan Police was wrong to stonewall inquiries by The Times. Scotland Yard has been given 35 days to comply or appeal. If it admits that there is no such intelligence, it would undermine any political defence for
The Information Commissioner’s Office dismissed all of Scotland Yard’s arguments for refusing even to say whether it holds any information about the CIA foiling
The Metropolitan Police had claimed that confirming whether it had this information might harm national security.
President Bush first admitted in September 2006 that terrorist suspects had been held in secret CIA prisons beyond
His admission that the secret centres existed came after allegations by critics that some interrogation techniques amounted to torture. The supposed methods included waterboarding (simulated drowning), beatings, electric shocks and mock executions. The extent of any complicity by Tony Blair’s Government in the
Ministers have twice had to go to Parliament and admit that the House of Commons had been misled.
Last year David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, admitted that two flights carrying prisoners had landed on Diego Garcia, a British territory, for refuelling despite previous denials.
John Hutton, when he was Defence Secretary, said in February this year that two terrorist suspects caught by
The case of Binyam Mohamed, a British asylum seeker questioned by MI5 in overseas US custody, where he claims to have been tortured, has led to a clash between judges and the Government. Mr Miliband is appealing to prevent the High Court from disclosing sensitive information relating to Mr Mohamed’s treatment in custody.
The Times asked Scotland Yard, based on President Bush’s public remarks, to provide information about how the
The Times appealed to the Information Commissioner. The police explained their reasons to his office. Denying that they had the information would reveal to the terrorist group that it was not under investigation “and so it would continue its activities”. But confirming it held the information would reveal that it was under investigation, leading it to take evasive action.
However, the Information Commissioner’s Office pointed out: “The statement made by the President of the
Baroness Ludford, the Liberal Democrat MEP who led an EU inquiry into rendition, welcomed the ruling. If Scotland Yard admitted that it had no such information, she said: “Either it’s a fabrication of the vivid imagination of President Bush and other people in
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: “The Metropolitan Police is currently considering its position.”
Copyright 2009 Times Newspapers Ltd.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs