Cripes! That was close. For a minute or two there I thought that Sir Mark Allen and maybe even Jack Straw were in serious trouble. Kidnapping and conspiracy to commit GBH is no laughing matter. I mean Allen pretty much gave the game away when he was foolish enough to write a letter to Moussa Koussa, Colonel Gaddafi’s foreign minister admitting with obvious pride the part that he had played in the kidnapping and rendition [that’s security services talk for torture, its sounds less brutal] of two of Gaddafi’s opponents. Of course that letter was never intended to be made public. Imagine therefore the irony. That letter only found its way into the public domain after NATO, with support from the UK government, bombed the Colonel’s compound in Tripoli. Just goes to show that when you bomb a foreign country you really should ensure that you do the job properly!
Its not likely that Allen went to all that trouble on his own initiative and without getting the approval of his boss, the then foreign secretary Jack Straw. Trouble is poor old Jack’s memory’s not all it used to be. And anyway he was far to busy to remember if he did give his approval. If he did Allen would have probably been in the clear thanks to s.7 of the Intelligence Services Act 1994. The so-called “James Bond” clause protects MI6 officers from prosecution for acts done anywhere in the world that would otherwise be illegal providing they were authorised in writing by the Secretary of State which in this context means Jack Straw.
Anyway, after a four year investigation by the police, described as “thorough and painstaking”, that generated a file running to about 28,000 pages, Sue Hemming, head of the CPS’s special crime and counter-intelligence division has decided there is insufficient evidence. Mind you just to be on the safe side she did get an opinion from the First Senior Treasury Counsel, Richard Whittam QC confirming there was indeed insufficient evidence. Phew, what a relief. I mean when you consider the size of the prosecution file that Knacker of the Yard had put together it was always going to be a tall order to be able to pass that lot off as not being enough? But happily our top prosecutors have come through.
It seems after all that like taxes, the rule of law is only for the little people. Good job its not the same Sue Hemmings who is charged with making decisions about the prosecution of former Chief Superintendent Duckenfield of Hillsborough fame and other senior figures involved in the disaster and subsequent cover-up. Oh, wait a minute…