British intelligence face no torture charges as new cases emerge
Jan 12, 2012, 15:34 GMT
London - There will be no prosecutions of British intelligence officers alleged to have been complicit in the torture and rendition of two former terrorism suspects, British police and justice authorities said Thursday.
However, fresh investigations would be launched into allegations that British agents were involved in the rendition to Libya of two key members of the rebel forces which overthrew the late Libyan leader, Moamer Gaddafi, said a statement issued jointly by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and Scotland Yard.
'The allegations raised in the two specific cases concerning the alleged rendition of named individuals to Libya and the alleged ill-treatment of them in Libya are so serious that it is in the public interest for them to be investigated,' it said.
Documents on the Libyan cases were retrieved from the rubble of the British embassy in Tripoli at the height of the fighting last year.
They relate to British involvement in the transfer of two former Gaddafi opponents - Abdel Hakim Belhaj and Sami al-Saadi - in 2004. Belhaj later became a leader of the anti-Gaddafi forces in Libya.
However, the statement said there was insufficient evidence to bring charges in the case of Binyam Mohamed, a former inmate of the Guantanamo prison camp, and another former terrorism suspects, who had alleged British involvement in their rendition.
Mohamed, an Ethiopian who was freed from the infamous camp in early 2009, alleges that British agents provided the information for his interrogation in Pakistan and later transfer to Guantanamo via Morocco between 2002 and 2004.
Mohamed, who lives in London, said Thursday that he believed any wider criminal investigation in Britain would reveal a 'pattern of massive complicity by UK bodies in criminality at the highest level.'
In his statement, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, said that while there was insufficient evidence to bring charges, that decision 'should not be read as concluding that the ill-treatment alleged by Mr Mohamed dit not take place or that it was lawful.'