LONDON (AP) – Eight former Guantanamo Bay detainees are suing the British government and secret services for millions of pounds, a British newspaper reported Saturday.
The suits filed at Britain’s High Court accuse the attorney general, security services and secret intelligence services of being complicit in their illegal abduction, treatment and interrogation, The Daily Mail newspaper reported.
“It is culpability by the British authorities in being involved in most of the process, their presence on every step of the journey before we got to Guantanamo,” one of the former detainees involved in the suit, Moazzam Begg, was quoted as saying. He was not immediately available for comment on Saturday.
Birnberg Pierce, the law firm named as acting for the men, refused to confirm the report when contacted by The Associated Press. The High Court was closed. The eight men were detained in Afghanistan and Pakistan at various times.
The men claim British authorities knew they would be taken to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo but continued to cooperate with the Americans, the report said.
Two separate writs had been filed by the group against the government, MI5 and MI6, one on behalf of five Britons and the other on behalf of three foreign citizens, the newspaper said.
One names five Britons as claimants: Moazzam Begg, released in 2005; Richard Belmar, and three youths known as the “Tipton Three” after the town in England where they are from Ruhal Ahmed, Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal.
The three youths’ story was told in a film by British director Michael Winterbottom. They unsuccessfully tried to sue the U.S. government for US$10 million (¤6.3 million) each in damages.
The other writ was filed on behalf of Libyan Omar Deghayes, Jordanian Jamil el-Banna, both released in December, and Iraqi Bisher al-Rawi, who was released last year. All three men are British residents.