The torture of Binyam Mohamed needs not just a police investigation, but a public inquiry


binyam-mohamedoriginally published: 26th March 2009
by Clive Stafford Smith

My colleagues and I at Reprieve are delighted that the attorney general has done the right thing and referred Binyam Mohamed’s case to the director of public prosecutions.

Ever since the government referred the matter to the attorney general, there have been complaints about the appropriateness of such a move. It was a problem of “neither fish nor fowl”. The attorney general was not the director of public prosecutions, nor was she an independent inquirer.

Further, her inquiry did not seem to be moving fast. Reprieve, which probably has more documents on this case than any other organisation, except possibly the intelligence services, offered Baroness Scotland access to those documents in December. To date, she has still not requested to see any of those documents.

So, it is extremely welcome that she is now handing the matter over to the DPP and the police. Indeed, it is right – the British intelligence services were complicit in Binyam’s torture and such a serious case should be referred to the DPP, so that the police can investigate and the DPP can consider whether or not prosecution is needed.

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