Davis: UK ‘outsourced torture’

By Liz Stephens

In a dramatic use of parliamentary privilege, David Davis told the House of Commons last night that the intelligence services had been “outsourcing torture”.

Revealing information which had previously only been heard in secret court hearings, Davis claimed that MI5 effectively sub-contracted the torture of British citizen, Rangzieb Ahmed, to a Pakistani intelligence agency.

The former shadow home secretary said there was a chain of evidence of complicity in torture and “passive rendition” and is calling for a judicial inquiry into at least 15 cases of terrorist suspects.

Davis said Ahmed, who was jailed for life for being an al-Qaeda planner, had been allowed to go to Pakistan by the intelligence services, despite them already having enough surveillance material to charge him.

Once he arrived, British intelligence alerted Pakistani authorities who arrested him and tortured him, parliament was told.

Ahmed alleges that a list of questions put to him during interrogation was drawn up by the security services and Manchester police.

Davis said: “A more obvious case of outsourcing of torture, a more obvious case of passive rendition, I cannot imagine.”

Ahmed was deported to the UK after 13 months in Pakistani custody and jailed for life for directing a terrorist organisation.

The jury at Manchester crown court was not told he had been tortured.

Davis called for an urgent inquiry into Britain’s involvement in torture, pointing out that the Americans have come clean over their own complicity.

Replying to Mr Davis, Foreign Office minister Ivan Lewis said he could not comment in detail on Ahmed’s case for legal reasons.