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British used info gained by torture { March 8 2003 }

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Article Last Updated: 12/31/2005 01:10:31 AM

British allegedly used info gained by torture
The charges: A former ambassador says officials knew the data came from prisoners held in torture chambers in Uzbekistan
By Alan Cowell
The New York Times

LONDON - Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, has published documents on the Internet that he says prove that the British knowingly received information obtained through torture.
Murray, who was forced to quit the Foreign Office last year after publicly condemning the Uzbek authorities, criticized the British and American governments in reports from Uzbekistan that he posted on the site,
On the site is a diplomatic cable Murray says he wrote, dated July 2004. It states that Britain received ''intelligence obtained under torture from the Uzbek intelligence services, via the U.S.''
''We should stop,'' the document goes on to say. ''It is bad information anyway. Tortured dupes are forced to sign up to confessions showing what the Uzbek government wants the U.S. and UK to believe, that they and we are fighting the same war against terror.''
Murray also said in one document that at a meeting in London on March 8, 2003, ''I was told specifically that it was perfectly legal for us to obtain and to use intelligence from the Uzbek torture chambers.''
He said that at the meeting, a British government legal adviser, Michael Wood, ''gave his legal opinion that it was not illegal to obtain and to use intelligence acquired by torture.''
In a telephone interview on Friday, Murray said he believed that the legal opinion meant that the information could not be used as evidence in court but could be used for intelligence purposes.
The disclosures, which repeat some earlier claims by Murray, play into a fierce debate in the U.S. and Europe over the transfer of terror suspects to countries that practice torture. Earlier this week, Britain and Greece denied allegations in Greece that their intelligence agents had interrogated 28 Pakistani suspects using torture after the July 7 bombings in London.
In a landmark ruling earlier this month, Britain's Law Lords, sitting as the country's highest court, said evidence obtained by torture, no matter by whom, was inadmissible in British courts.

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