MI6 admits to interfering in judicial matters
Iran Press TV
Monday, 27 July 2020 5:27 PM
The Secret Intelligence Service (better known as MI6) has been forced to apologize after it was established the agency had tried to interfere in judicial matters.
According to legal papers, officers from the UK's foreign intelligence service had tried to prevent sensitive documents reaching one of the country's top judges.
MI6 had tried to interfere in the work of the semi-secret Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) into criminal activity by intelligence agents.
On March 05, 2019, two MI6 officers made contact with the secretary of the IPT, Susan Cobb, and falsely informed her that the Tribunal should not have been provided with copies of secret documents which were potentially relevant to the case.
The officers specifically told Cobb the documents should not be passed to Lord Justice Singh, other members of the tribunal or the senior lawyer advising them.
Cobb wrote back to MI6 complaining that the phone conversations amounted to "inappropriate interference".
"It was inappropriate for your staff to seek to intervene in ongoing legal proceedings in the way that they sought to do … The Tribunal is an independent judicial body", Cobb wrote to MI6.
Subsequently, a senior MI6 manager replied to Cobb admitting to the wrongdoing.
"Please accept my apologies for any misunderstanding that may have arisen as a result of the approach made to the Tribunal", the MI6 manager wrote back to Cobb.
However, MI6's admission of wrongdoing hasn't assuaged stakeholders in the original IPT case who are now calling on the tribunal to investigate broader interference in judicial proceedings by the intelligence services.
The call for a wider investigation has been made by lawyers for the campaign groups involved in the case, including Reprieve, Privacy International and the Pat Finucane Centre.
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