Terrorism suspects win appeal against government ‘secret justice’ measures
Judge quashes control orders imposed on Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, who went on run in burqa, and second man.
A terrorism suspect who went on the run disguised in a burqa has won a surprise legal battle with an appeal court ruling that dealt a major blow to the government’s reliance on secret justice measures in cases of national security.
Control orders that had been imposed on Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed and a second man, who can be identified only as CF, were quashed after the court ruled that the government should not have been able to answer allegations of serious wrong-doing behind closed doors.
th men were detained in Somaliland in 2011 during an operation in which British forces appear to have been involved. They were allegedly beaten, subjected to mock execution, and then flown to the UK against their will in circumstances that their lawyers say amounted to a “rendition” operation. On arrival they were put under control orders.
When the pair challenged those orders on the grounds that the government had been involved in their mistreatment, government lawyers relied upon a practice known as NCND – neither confirming nor denying the truth of the allegations in open court – and were permitted to present their full case in closed court.
On Friday Lord Justice Kay criticised the high court’s acceptance of NCND, which he described as a policy “lurking just below the surface”.
It was not a legal principle and needed to be justified, he said.