Government U-turn on torture inquiry promise 'scandalous'

By agency reporter
December 19, 2013

Commenting on the publication of the preliminary work of the Gibson Inquiry into UK rendition in torture, and the announcement by Cabinet Office Minister Ken Clarke that the Government will no longer hold a judge-led inquiry into the issue but will instead pass the issue to the Intelligence and Security Committee, Clare Algar, Executive Director of legal charity Reprieve said: “These findings show just how crucial it is that a fully independent and transparent inquiry is held into the UK’s involvement in torture and rendition.

“It is therefore scandalous that the Government has u-turned on its long-standing promise to hold a judge-led inquiry into torture, and is instead handing this to a committee of MPs which has consistently failed to provide real oversight of the security services.

“The Intelligence and Security Committee gave the agencies a clean bill of health on rendition, three years after MI6 orchestrated the kidnap and rendition to torture of Gaddafi opponents, along with their wives and young children. When they called the intelligence chiefs to appear before them last month, it emerged that they were provided the questions in advance.

“The ISC has demonstrated neither the independence nor the ability needed to ensure this investigation will be anything more than a whitewash.”

[Ekk/4]

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