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Davis demands entry to secret court case on Britain’s involvement in torture

PROMINENT Tory MP David Davis is demanding to be allowed entry to a secret court that is due to hear evidence on Britain’s involvement in torture. 

The former Brexit secretary, along with human-rights organisation Reprieve and Labour MP Dan Jarvis, is bringing a judicial review of the government’s refusal to hold an independent inquiry into Britain’s involvement in torture and rendition of detainees after the September 11 attacks in 2001. 

After announcing the legal action last October, Mr Davis is now battling to be granted entry to the court hearing on September 22 at which the judge will hear from government lawyers alone. 

Mr Davis argued today that he should not be barred from seeing the evidence because he had access to similar information when he held ministerial roles. 

The co-claimants have been excluded from the proceedings after the government pushed for parts of the judicial review to be heard in secret courts known as closed material procedures. 

Reprieve director Maya Foa said: “If British personnel helped torture people, that should not be concealed from the public behind the doors of a secret court. 

“We want the government to keep the promise it made to torture survivors ten years ago and air evidence of past wrongdoing in a fully independent inquiry.” 

In 2010, then prime minister David Cameron announced an inquiry into British complicity in the torture and rendition of terror suspects following the September 11 attacks, but it lacked the powers needed to fully expose the truth. 

Over the past decade, ministers have failed to deliver on the government’s promise of a full independent review. 

Mr Davis MP said: “Torture is illegal, immoral and totally counterproductive when it comes to keeping this country safe. 

“Our legal challenge has already revealed 15 previously unknown cases where past governments got us mixed up in torture, and only by confronting these mistakes can we ensure they are not repeated.”

In 2018, ministers were forced to give an unprecedented apology for Britain’s involvement in the US rendition and torture of Abdul Hakim Belhaj and Fatima Boudchar in 2004. 

They were kidnapped with the help of British intelligence and tortured in CIA custody.

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