.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Were Labour Ministers complicit in the illegal rendition of terrorist suspects?

The BBC reports the shocking revelation that the UK government approved the 2004 rendition of a terror suspect to the Gaddafi regime.

They say that a letter from senior MI6 officer, Sir Mark Allen, to Col Gaddafi's intelligence chief, Musa Kusa, was found last year in the rubble of Musa Kusa's headquarters, which were bombed by Nato:

As well as congratulating the Libyans on the arrival of the "cargo", it points out that "the intelligence was British".

The letter was sent in 2004 when Mr Belhaj was the leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

MI5 believed the group was close to al-Qaeda and involved in recruiting young Muslims in Britain to fight in Iraq.

Our correspondent says it appears MI6 had discovered that Mr Belhaj was in Malaysia and about to head for London in the hope of obtaining political asylum.

MI6 informed its foreign intelligence partners, and as a result Mr Belhaj was intercepted in Bangkok, presumably by the CIA, and rendered to Libya.

Our correspondent says the letter suggests MI6 was complicit in Mr Belhaj's illegal rendition and alleged torture in Libya - but that MI6 was not acting unilaterally.

He says his understanding is that MI6 obtained authorisation from the Labour government of the time for its action.

The BBC point out that Jack Straw was the Labour Foreign Secretary in 2004 when the rendition took place.

They say that in an interview on BBC Radio 4 last year he said: "We were opposed to unlawful rendition. We were opposed to any use of torture or similar methods. Not only did we not agree with it, we were not complicit in it and nor did we turn a blind eye to it. No foreign secretary can know all the details of what its intelligence agencies are doing at any one time."

That puts Jack Straw in the clear, but questions still arise from this document. Did these actions by MI6 have Ministerial approval as is suggested? If so which Labour Minister gave the go-ahead for this illegal rendition?
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?