Oliver Sanders acted as counsel to the Intelligence Services Commissioner, Sir Mark Waller, on his inquiry into concerns raised by the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament about the government’s responsibilities in relation to partner counter-terrorism units overseas.
These concerns appeared in the Committee’s 2014 report on the intelligence relating to the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby and centred on Adebolajo’s arrest and detention in and return from Kenya in 2010.
The Commissioner’s report published on 15 September 2016 concludes that: (1) Adebolajo’s torture claims were untrue and he was not the victim of an MI5/MI6 conspiracy; (2) the UK/Kenyan disruption of his attempted travel to Somalia worked well, albeit that there were some shortcomings in the conduct of MI5/MI6 and consular staff; (3) the MI5/MI6 and Foreign Office responses to the torture claims were inadequate; and (4) MI6’s engagement with the investigations conducted by both the Parliamentary Committee and the Commissioner was defensive, unhelpful and inadequate.
Perhaps most importantly from a legal and policy perspective, the Commissioner rejected the MI5/MI6 argument that the Consolidated Guidance did not apply to the case, found that it was not properly followed and recommended that the Government review and reform its terms and related arrangements in consultation with third parties including the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Fair Trials Abroad, Prisoners Abroad, Redress and Reprieve.
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