The British government persuaded the Appeal Court to water down judgment

And now the Guardian newspaper has published a letter from the Government lawyer Jonathan Sumption QC to the Court of Appeal in which Sumption protested about the severe criticism of MI5 in the draft copy of the Binyam Mohamed judgment.  

In Sumption’s own words, anyone reading the original judgment would believe “that the Security Service does not in fact operate a culture that respects human right or abjures participation in coercive interrogation techniques”.

The appeal judges, led by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, agreed to redact one paragraph, number 168, which was particularly critical of the security service. A hearing about whether this paragraph, or part of it, will be published will be convened on Friday.

However, the court ruled that Sumption’s letter could be made public – and this makes clear the condemnation of MI5. A lawyer and commentator Mark Stephens said on C4 News that the British foreign secretary had been caught out making secret representations to the judges, causing them embarrassment and prompting them to convene a new hearing in two days.

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