News review

Highlighting a couple of news articles today.

Further evidence of UK involvement in rendition and torture.

UK Uncut initiate legal action against Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HRMC) over letting Goldman Sachs escape millions in tax.

Rendition secrets to be released / Britain / Home – Morning Star

A Kenyan national who has accused MI5 and the FBI of complicity in his rendition and torture won a key legal victory in the British courts this week.

The Court of Appeal ordered that Omar Awadh Omar, a prominent Nairobi-based Muslim human rights activist, be allowed to bring his application seeking disclosure from Britain about what it knew of his alleged rendition from Kenya to Uganda in 2010.

Since September 2010, Mr Omar, a prominent Nairobi-based Muslim human rights activist, has been held at Luzira high-security prison in Kampala where he faces capital murder charges.

He is accused of involvement in the twin bomb attacks which killed 74 people in Kampala as they watched the 2010 World Cup final.

If found guilty, Mr Omar faces death by hanging.

Mr Omar alleges he was abducted by the Kenyan Anti-Terror Police Unit, bundled into a car and driven to the border crossing at Malaba where he was handed over, hooded and shackled, to Ugandan police.

He says he was then taken to the notorious “Rapid Response Unit” at Kireka, which human rights groups have described as a “torture chamber.”

While at Kireka, he alleges he was repeatedly interrogated over the course of 21 days by two FBI agents and one MI5 agent, was verbally abused, threatened with transfer to Guantanamo Bay, repeatedly pushed, slapped, kicked and punched so hard he suffered kidney damage.

The majority of these assaults were carried out by the FBI agents but they were witnessed and encouraged by the MI5 agent, he claims.

The British government has said it will “neither confirm nor deny” involvement in the ill-treatment or rendition.

On Wednesday the Court of Appeal held that it was at least arguably necessary to Mr Omar’s criminal defence and/or challenge in the Constitutional Court of Uganda for Britain to disclose to him any information it holds in relation to his alleged rendition.

Solicitor at Public Interest Lawyers Tessa Gregory, representing Omar, said: “This case involves extremely serious allegations of UK complicity in the unlawful rendition, treatment and prosecution of our client, Omar Awadh Omar.

“In light of the court’s decision today, the government can no longer sensibly maintain its policy of neither confirming nor denying its involvement in Omar’s case.”

BBC News – Goldman Sachs tax deal faces UK legal challenge

UK Uncut has begun legal proceedings to force banking giant Goldman Sachs to pay more to the UK tax authorities.

The pressure group requested a judicial review into a decision by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) that let the bank off paying interest on its tax bill.

The shortfall, which HMRC told MPs this week was an error, was estimated by the National Audit Office to be £5m-8m.

However, a whistleblower who worked for HMRC estimated the cost at £20m – a claim that has been rejected by HMRC.

UK Uncut has called for the government to crack down on tax avoidance by large corporations and the super-rich rather than pursue its “unnecessary austerity programme”.

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