CIA officers accused of torture may face British trial

CIA officers may be tried in Britain following the statement last night that the attorney general will look into torture accusations of a British resident.

Binyam Mohamed was allegedly arrested, questioned, and brutally tortured by American forces when he was held in Moroccan and Afghani prisons after the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has requested deliberation over bringing criminal charges against the senior intelligence officials responsible for purportedly torturing Mr Mohamed who is currently the last Briton being held in Guantanamo Bay.

The announcement follows condemnation of US prosecutors by British judges hearing Mr Mohamed’s case against the UK government and who have seen alleged evidence of his torture, including accusations torturers repeatedly cut his penis with a razor blade.

“The home secretary must make a statement to parliament given the serious charge that British MI5 officers were involved in criminal offences,” Lib Dem foreign affairs spokesman Edward Davey said.

“Many have suspected the government has been covering up the extent of British involvement in practices like illegal detention and extraordinary rendition.”

Mr. Mohamed, 30, a British resident who gained asylum in the UK in 1994, is an Ethiopian national and has been charged with terrorism related offences.

He was arrested and first held in Pakistan in 2002, where he was questioned by a British MI5 officer; the CIA then sent Mr. Mohammed to Morocco where he was supposedly tortured for 18 months.

Following Morocco he was sent to ‘Dark Prison’ in Afghanistan, where he purportedly continued to be tortured.

Mr. Mohammed has been in Guantanamo Bay since September 2004 where he is currently waiting to hear whether he will face trail at the US naval base.

He has accused the government’s MI5 agents of lying about what they knew of CIA plans to transfer him to a Moroccan prison where he was tortured.

His case against the government was ruled at least arguable by two judges in August who said that the MI5 information was “not only necessary but essential for his defence”.

The judges have read testimonials and interviews with Mr. Mohamed where he says he was compelled to admit to terrorism between 28 and 31 July, 2004.