Daily Archives: January 27, 2012

Joint Enterprise on Torture

The law is not blind in this country – “joint enterprise” is used almost exclusively against young black men. But I can see no reason why the principle of joint enterpirse should not apply equally to those who set the policy under which people were rendered to be tortured in Libya, rather than merely to the security service functionaries who carried out the policy. In my reading of joint enterprise, if Ministers can show they were not involved in signing off individual rendition permissions, they should still be guilty for having participated in the behaviour that made such results likely, indeed inevitable.

I have given evidence to parliament that I was told, officially, as a British Ambassador, that Jack Straw had initiated a policy of using intelligence obtained by torture. I also testified before parliament that this was an unacknowledged policy which I was told, officially, should not be discussed in writing. The government has at no stage attempted to deny the truth of my account. The government did not submit evidence to the Parliamentary committee to claim that my account was untrue. The government has nowhere stated that my evidence is untrue; they prefer to rely on private media briefings to claim, untruly, that I am mad and alcoholic.

I shall tell the police that those involved in rendering persons to be Libya to be tortured were doing so in keeping with a War on Terror torture intelligence programme authorised by Jack Straw. It is no secret what I will say; here I am saying it.

Of course, I realise that the Crown Prosecution Service and the Met will,three years hence, claim there were no grounds to prosecute anybody. I am not that naive. But the fact of a formal police investigation will force some attention on whether or not my account is true. Ignoring the facts and just being rude about me is less easy in a criminal investigation.

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