Britain ‘Concerned’ Over U.S. Use Of Torture Evidence In 9/11 Trials

Yesterday, military prosecutors announced that they have filed death penalty charges against six detainees for their roles in the 9/11 attacks. One of these men, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, has been confirmed to have been waterboarded.

Attorney General Mike Mukasey has also refused to rule out using this evidence in court, saying, “What evidence gets presented at this trial is up to the prosecutors.”

But today on BBC Radio, UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband broke with the country’s American ally, citing “some concerns” over the use of torture evidence:

Speaking on a BBC programme in response to a question from a listener, Miliband confirmed that the UK defined water-boarding as torture, adding: “We don’t … we would never use water-boarding.” […]

“And I think it’s very, very important that we always assert that our system of values is different from those who attacked the US and killed British citizens on September 11, and that’s something we’d always want to stand up for.”

Asked whether the trial of Mohammed would respect his legal rights, Miliband replied: “We have some concerns about that.”

With the departure of former prime minister Tony Blair, Britain has become increasingly willing to speak out against U.S. policies. British newspapers have appeared “eager” and enthusiastic for the end of Bush’s presidency. Prince Andrew, who is fourth in line to the British throne, recently “launched a sharp attack” against Bush for “failing to listen to Britain during the conflict in Iraq.” Britain has also pushed for the closure of Guantanamo Bay.


On CNN last night, Charles Swift, who represented Salim Hamdan in the case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, said that the last time waterboarding evidence was used in trial was during the Spanish Inquisition.