Feeds

US to give some rendition info at Gitmo trial

UK courts may let Brit spies keep schtum

Top three mobile application threats

High Court beaks have allowed a further week for arguments in the case of Binyam Mohamed, the one-time UK resident facing a US military tribunal at Guantánamo Bay.

The postponement comes following an announcement by America that Mohamed's military defence team will now be furnished with some information regarding his detainment by US intelligence from 2002 to 2004, which was until now entirely shrouded in secrecy.

Details of the detention are critical to the case, as Mohamed has confessed in writing to plotting terrorist attacks on US soil. He argues that he only did this after being tortured in an overseas prison - possibly in Morocco - and that it was the threat of a return to such treatment which made him sign.

If Mohamed's Guantánamo defenders could show that such torture and threats had taken place, most of the case against him would collapse. However, according to the UK Foreign Office, discussions with the Guantánamo authorities originally indicated that the US government didn't intend to reveal anything whatsoever about Mohamed's imprisonment to his military defence lawyers.

This led the High Court judges in London to rule last month that British spooks would have to reveal what they knew about the case to British lawyers acting for Mohamed. The Foreign Office had admitted to the court that it had "limited material" in its files about Mohamed's two-year disappearance, some of which "could be considered to be exculpatory or might otherwise be relevant".

However, all this material had been given to the British spies by their US colleagues, and was considered to be top secret. The British spooks were intensely reluctant to hand over information supplied by America, as it might mean the US never speaking to them again. If you took away all the US information, British spooks - and so the British government - wouldn't ever get to see much secret intelligence.

It now appears that the US has agreed to reveal at the Guantánamo tribunal some details of what happened to Mohamed between his being seized by Pakistani authorities in 2002 and passing into US military custody in 2004. The UK Foreign Office will now argue that the US military trial will be acceptably fair, and that therefore Blighty's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, aka MI6) shouldn't have to disgorge any of its files to Mohamed's crusading London lawyers - so imperilling Blighty's flow of hot US intel.

The crusading lawyers in question had originally hoped to be allowed a comprehensive trawl through the UK's secret files for "any evidence of extraordinary rendition carried out by the United States generally... [and] any United States violations of its international legal obligations and the treatment of prisoners of war on terror". That was never on the cards, but the lawyers will still argue that the information to be furnished at Guantánamo - from which, apparently, all names of US officials will be redacted - is insufficient for a fair trial. They have already said that the omission of names will make it impossible for the defence to call essential witnesses.

The High Court will issue its final word on release of British files following further argument by both sides. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?
Wait 'til this one hits your pension fund where it hurts
Systems meltdown plunges US immigration courts into pen-and-paper stone age
Massive outage could last four weeks, sources claim
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.