Court demands clarification from Miliband on Mohamed documents
Katriona Lewis reports from the High Court
29 Jul 09

Judges told Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s lawyers today that he must make it “abundantly” clear that the release of documents relating to the torture allegations of a former Guantamano Bay detainee, Binyam Mohamed, would directly result in the US government withholding intelligence. If the US were to reassess security sharing with the UK and put British lives at risk as a result, the decision facing the judges would be “a very simple one”.

Lawyers for Binyam Mohamed, and for the British and US media, including Index on Censorship, are requesting the release of a seven-paragraph summary detailing his treatment. Mohamed was arrested in 2002 in Pakistan after the invasion of Afghanistan.

David Miliband demanded a gagging order, stating that the disclosure of the document “could likely result in serious damage to UK and US national security”. Today, government lawyers confirmed that US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton shares this view. “What we don’t want is yet another muddle. I want to tie the secretary down. So far the statement is not good enough,” said Lord Justice Thomas.

The court has asked the foreign secretary to clarify his position.