MI6 tried to intervene in independent court by stopping judge seeing legal papers – but they said sorry, so it’s OK

The Register

The UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, aka MI6, has been accused of trying to tamper with a court that is supposed to oversee and regulate it after an extraordinary tale emerged yesterday.

Two spies from the secretive agency attempted to prevent Lord Justice Rabinder Singh, president of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), from reading a secret investigation report from spy agency auditor the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office (IPCO).

The revelations came during a hearing in an ongoing case before the tribunal yesterday, over exactly what crimes MI6 informants are allowed to commit before the state investigates and punishes those crimes. Last year an IPT case established that spies and informants can break the law with impunity.

A classified report from IPCO was included in a bundle of court papers intended to be read by Lord Justice Singh in early 2019. MI6 decided it wanted to stop Singh from reading the report, which contained material critical of the agency.

Two spies phoned the IPT to demand that the report was kept away from the judge’s eyes. IPT secretary Susan Cobb wrote back to say: It was inappropriate for your staff to seek to intervene in ongoing legal proceedings in the way that they sought to do, the Daily Mail and BBC reported.

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