As I prepare for my evidence session before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights on 28 April, I was looking back for the evidence I gave to the European Parliament on extraordinary rendition. Unfortunately it seems that no transcript was made of the committee questioning me (unless anyone who knows the system there better than I can come up with one) but rather a kind of precis made of my evidence as a “working document”.
It also helpfully published the supporting documentation I gave.
What still surprises me is that, after I gave my evidence, I was mobbed by media, gave numerous television interviews, and was headline news all over Europe. Except in the UK where there was no mention of it at all. I was pondering this over the weekend as I read a very large number of commentary pieces, in every serious newspaper, on the apparent complicity in torture and what enquiries into it may find.
I have been answering the question of the moment – was there a policy of torture – for the last five years, with eye-witness testimony backed up with documentary proof. Yet I appear not to exist to the media. Will my testimony to the JCHR also be simply ignored?
At least this time I am going to get to give evidence. This was the response when I tried to give evidence to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee in 2006:
Dear Mr Murray, The Committee considered your e-mail at its meeting yesterday, 15 March. As you requested, it was made available to all members. The Committee decided not to receive the communication as evidence. Steve Priestley Clerk of FAC
It is, I think, worth thinking about this again