UK spies won’t face criminal charges for torture

LONDON—Agents working for Britain’s spy agencies won’t face criminal charges over their alleged complicity in the mistreatment of former Guantanamo detainees, the country’s top prosecutor said Thursday.

They may, however, still face civil action from victims who say the British government passed on information about them to their foreign captors accused in their mistreatment. None of the British agents were accused of directly torturing or mistreating detainees.

Prosecutors have been investigating allegations of ill treatment of detainees who eventually were sent to the U.S. prison in Guantanamo, Cuba. Most of the torture allegations come from terror suspects who were either initially held in Pakistan and Afghanistan, or sent to other countries such as Morocco for interrogation.

Police and the Crown Prosecution Service said if more evidence came to light, criminal investigations could be reopened.

A separate inquiry into British complicity in torture, intelligence sharing and the extraordinary rendition of terror suspects is set to begin now that the police and prosecutors have said there is insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges.

Britain has already made payouts to 16 former detainees at Guantanamo. Among those alleged to have been part of the settlements were Binyam Mohamed, Bishar Al Rawi, Jamil El Banna, Richard Belmar, Omar Deghayes, Moazzam Begg and Martin Mubanga.

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