Sarah speaks to the European Parliament about the Binyam Mohamed case and the secret service in Britain

February 10, 2010 5:00 PM
By Sarah Ludford MEP in European Parliament

Sarah Ludford (ALDE). - Mr President, I want to talk about respect for the rule of law by intelligence services. A ruling today by the UK Court of Appeal has blasted open the British Government's attempt at secrecy. It has confirmed, as Parliament said three years ago, the shocking truth that UK secret services did collude in the torture of British resident and rendition victim Binyan Mohamed.

What does the Council think of that total breach of Article 6 of the EU Treaty and the Torture Convention? In 2006, I led the MEP delegation from our Temporary Committee on Extraordinary Rendition and Torture to London. The then UK Defence Secretary, Geoffrey Hoon, wasted half the meeting lambasting me just for saying that we were enquiring into UK complicity. He owes me, and more importantly the British and European public, an apology.

Four things now need to happen in the UK: a full independent inquiry into UK complicity in war-on-terror abuses during the years the UK Labour Government acted as a Bush poodle; a rapid police investigation and, if necessary, prosecutions for breach of the Torture Convention; disclosure of what instructions were given to UK intelligence officers and if they were told to keep silent in the face of torture; and full parliamentary accountability - which we do not have in the UK for the intelligence services.