‘Judge needed’ to probe Binyam Mohamed case

By politics.co.uk staff

Two prominent Conservative backbenchers have added their voices to calls for a judicial inquiry into the Binyam Mohamed case.

Ex-shadow home secretary David Davis and the chairman of the all-party group on extraordinary rendition, Andrew Tyrie, want a senior judge to investigate the circumstances surrounding the treatment of Mr Mohamed.

Last week it emerged that Mr Mohamed had been the subject of cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment. While the government was able to deny it had tortured the former Guantanamo Bay inmate, a popular backlash has seen anger from those convinced the British government was complicit in torture.

Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general during the Iraq war, called for a judicial inquiry into the Mohamed case last week.

“We now need to have a judicial inquiry which needs to be as transparent as possible – holding some sessions in public and some in private,” Mr Davis told the Guardian.

“A very senior judge must hear it and it would be possible to reach a conclusion to what was done firstly without naming agents or officers; secondly to establish whether it was individuals or policies at fault; and thirdly so that guidelines for how to proceed can be drawn up.”

Mr Tyrie, who supported the calls for a judicial inquiry, said the way the Commons examined the work of the security services needed reforming.

At present the intelligence and security committee is tasked with the job of holding MI5 and MI6 to account, but the sensitive nature of much of the material involved means much of its work takes place behind closed doors, undermining public confidence in its effectiveness.

“The ISC is not getting, nor able to get to the truth. Therefore, reform is needed to restore public confidence,” Mr Tyrie told the Guardian.

“An immediate step should be the reform of the method of appointment of the chairman to this committee. At the moment he or she is a prime ministerial appointee. This has allowed a revolving door between chairmanship of the ISC and the government frontbench. That door should be closed.”