Andrew Tyrie MP has dismissed the idea that former detainees received compensation to prevent the disclosure of sensitive material – used to justify “secret hearings” – as a red herring.

For the first time in a rendition case, the Government has applied to use the new rules allowing secret court hearings. Yunus Rahmatullah and Amanatullah Ali, Pakistani nationals who were captured by British troops in Iraq, are suing the Government over their treatment. They were rendered to Afghanistan and held for 10 years without charge after being transferred to US custody.

Journalist Richard Norton-Taylor, writing in Middle East Eye, quoted Andrew Tyrie’s comments on a related case:

“The idea that former detainees received compensation to prevent the disclosure of sensitive material is a red herring… These measures – where the government can bar the other party, their lawyers, and the public from court – damage the tradition of open British justice.

“In fact, there are long-established ways to stop sensitive information being released. For decades, the courts have been able to decide on a document-by-document basis whether the public interest is best served by disclosure or concealment, through a ‘Public Interest Immunity’ test. When the new rules were proposed, the majority of security-vetted lawyers – who are in the best position to know – said that they had not seen any cases in which the existing measures could not do the job.”

See the full article here.

See the APPG's press release here.