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British military chiefs facing further legal action over alleged waterboarding of suspects during the Troubles

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A case has been brought by a man who claims he was subjected to the deep interrogation method as a teenager in 1972.

A case has been brought by a man who claims he was subjected to the deep interrogation method as a teenager in 1972.

A case has been brought by a man who claims he was subjected to the deep interrogation method as a teenager in 1972.

British military chiefs are facing further legal action over the alleged use of waterboarding torture techniques on suspects detained during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

A second case has been brought by a man who claims he was subjected to the deep interrogation method as a teenager in 1972.

Similar proceedings have already been issued by Liam Holden, the last man in Northern Ireland to receive the death sentence.

Their civil actions against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Chief Constable of the PSNI are due for trial at the High Court in June.

Both men allege they were tortured by soldiers during questioning at Black Mountain Barracks in Belfast.

Their solicitor, Patricia Coyle, said: "The identification of a second plaintiff who makes similar allegations against the British Army, involving the use of waterboarding at the same venue and around the same time in 1972, indicates that there may be a pattern of the use of this technique for in depth interrogation."

Mr Holden, 66, was sentenced to hang for the killing of a British solider in west Belfast in 1972.

The death penalty was commuted to life in prison before a 40-year fight to clear his name resulted in his murder conviction being quashed in 2012.

The widowed father-of-two, who always maintained the military subjected him to water torture and death threats to extract a confession for the shooting of Private Frank Bell, then launched a civil claim against the MoD and police.

According to Ms Coyle freshly discovered documents have resulted in other alleged victims being traced.

They include a detailed statement of evidence from the mother of the second, unidentified plaintiff about the distress, trauma and consequences of the in depth interrogation he was said to have endured at the age of 17.

Both men claim they were targeted by the army for arrest. Their writs feature allegations of the military's use of the waterboarding, and misconduct in public office by the members of interrogation units involved.

Lawyers contend that an MoD Internal Security Operations Directive which required Cabinet approval when issued in August 1972 for detentions and interrogations circumvented the domestic law in Northern Ireland at the time.

Ms Coyle said: "There may also be a pattern of the use by the MoD of the Directive to target, arrest and subject young men to depth interrogation with the possible prior authorisation of Government Ministers at Westminster at the time."

She added: "It will be open to the High Court in Belfast, on hearing the evidence of both Mr Holden and the second plaintiff at the civil trial, to conclude whether it is more likely than not that waterboarding took place in both instances.

"Both my clients welcome the opportunity to present their case to the court."

Belfast Telegraph


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