British govt under pressure over CIA link

2014-12-12 14:32
British Prime Minister David Cameron. (Peter Morrison, AP)

British Prime Minister David Cameron. (Peter Morrison, AP)

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London - The British government is under pressure to appoint a judge to investigate whether its spy agencies were complicit in the torture of terrorist suspects by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he would support a judicial inquiry after it was revealed that British officials held dozens of meetings with US counterparts.

The US Senate this week said in a report that CIA interrogation techniques amounted to torture, sparking condemnation.

Reference to Britain and other US allies were blacked out in the report.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister David Cameron told the Guardian newspaper that "no redactions were sought to remove any suggestion that there was UK involvement in any alleged torture or rendition" and that any blacking out "would have been on national security grounds in the way we might have done with any other report."

Clegg said he would support a judge-led inquiry if Britain's parliamentary intelligence and security committee, which is probing claimed complicity with the CIA, leaves questions unanswered.

The senate report could damage the opposition Labour Party, which was in government during the CIA's interrogations programme that US President Barack Obama ended in 2009.

Labour leader Ed Miliband defended his brother, David, who was Tony Blair's foreign secretary at the time. "He's never somebody who would ever countenance the British state getting engaged in this kind of activity," Miliband said.

But he did not join in Clegg's call for a judicial inquiry.

Labour parliamentarian Paul Flynn said: "It's essential that we have a full judge-led inquiry independent of political input. There are serious questions to be answered by Tony Blair and David Miliband and others."

Shami Chakrabarti, head of lobby group Liberty, said a judge-led inquiry was needed into what she described as a "shameful scandal”.

Read more on:    cia  |  barak obama  |  david cameron  |  us  |  human rights

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