By James Slack
The Court of Appeal ruled that allowing the Government to use secret evidence to defend itself against the men’s allegations of torture and ill-treatment would undermine the ‘most fundamental principles’ of fairness.
Ministers, led by the Foreign Secretary, must now decide whether to surrender to the men’s claims for tens of thousands of pounds in compensation – or fight them on a significantly weakened basis, without the use of secret documents.
Secret evidence: Binyam Mohamed, left, and Jamil El Banna are two of the former Guantanamo Bay detainees seeking to sue the Government for complicity in torture
The men – who include Binyam Mohamed, the British resident who claims the security services were complicit in his torture overseas – had previously been told that parts of MI5 and MI6’s defence could be kept secret.
But the Court of Appeal yesterday said it would ‘take a stand’ against secrecy that would undermine the ‘most fundamental principles of common law’.
The detainees were held in foreign prisons at the instigation of U.S. forces.