A former senior intelligence officer wants to give evidence to a parliamentary inquiry that MI5 and Government was aware of the abuse of inmates at the American run prison camp
MI5 is bracing itself for revelations from a former spy that it knew detainees in Guantánamo Bay were being subjected to torture.
A former senior intelligence officer is set to break ranks and give evidence to a parliamentary inquiry that the Security Service was aware of the abuse of inmates at the American run prison camp.
The UK Government has long refused to detail what it knew of activities in the Cuban-based camp but has always insisted it would not condone or participate in torture.
However, the unnamed former MI5 officer is understood to have evidence that members of agency witnessed ill-treatment there.
He is understood to be seeking official permission to give evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), which is to examine whether Britain was complicit in torture.
The inquiry follows revelations in a report by the US Senate Intelligence Committee in 2014 that found CIA officers had conducted a brutal regime on captives including repeated waterboarding, slapping, stress positions and sleep deprivation.
In the wake of that report, Admiral Lord West, the former security minister, said there may have been the “odd case” where UK agents were in the same room when their American counterparts were waterboarding detainees.
The former MI5 officer is likely to confirm that a series of top level meetings were held at Thames House, MI5’s headquarters, to discuss torture claims during 2002 following the 9/11 attacks and the use of Guantánamo Bay.
However, his evidence is likely to be heard in private and much of the detail may never be made public.
It is believed to be the first time a former MI5 officer has volunteered to give evidence to a parliamentary inquiry potentially criticising the role of the security and intelligence services.
Dominic Grieve, the chairman of the ISC, said: “We will pursue leads wherever they go. We want to hear from relevant people.”
He also hinted that Tony Blair, who was Prime Minister at the time, may be called to give evidence. A former senior intelligence officer is set to break ranks and give evidence to a parliamentary inquiry that the Security Service was aware of the abuse of inmates at the American run prison camp.