Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Torture Claims Are Slur on MI5 Says Watchdog

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Torture Claims Are Slur on MI5 Says Watchdog

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

ALLEGATIONS of MI5 complicity in torture are "a calumny and a slur", the chairman of the committee that oversees the Security Service said today. Labour MP Kim Howells said it was "shameful" that MI5 had been condemned without key evidence being tested in court and criticised the senior judge who claimed that the service had a culture of suppression.

"Our completely independent investigations don't seem to confirm that the agencies are involved in any way in torture or complicity in torture," said Dr Howells, chairman of the crossparty Intelligence and Security Committee.

His intervention came after MI5 director-general Jonathan Evans abandoned traditional secrecy to issue a defence of his officers and to warn against "conspiracy theories" that could be used as propaganda by Britain's enemies.

The attempt to bolster MI5 follows a Court of Appeal ruling which disclosed evidence that former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed was mistreated while held by America's CIA. …

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