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UK asks police to probe torture claims

Britain has ordered its police to investigate allegations by an ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee that UK intelligence officers were complicit in his torture overseas.

world Updated: Mar 27, 2009 11:01 IST

Britain has ordered its police to investigate allegations by an ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee that UK intelligence officers were complicit in his torture overseas.

Attorney general Patricia Scotland told lawmakers in a written statement that police would begin an inquiry into Binyam Mohamed’s claims that an officer from Britain’s domestic security agency MI5 was aware he had been tortured.

Mohamed, an Ethiopian who moved to Britain as a teenager, was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 as a suspected terrorist. He says he was tortured in Pakistan and in Morocco, before he was transferred to Guantanamo in 2004.

Scotland, who began an inquiry into the case in October, said she has asked London police commissioner Paul Stephenson to investigate whether there is evidence that anyone should face criminal charges.

Mohamed, who is recovering at an undisclosed British location being released from Guantanamo Bay in February, said he was pleased with Thursday's decision, but urged police to examine the conduct of senior intelligence officers.

He alleges he told an MI5 officer, known in court hearings on the issue as Witness B, that he’d been tortured during an interview in Pakistan in 2002. Mohamed also claims British intelligence supplied questions to his interrogators overseas.