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Canadian spy agency uses information obtained by torture: report

(Xinhua)

08:20, February 08, 2012

OTTAWA, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian government has directed Canada's spy agency to use information extracted through torture in cases where public safety is at stake, a Canadian news agency reported Tuesday.

A two-page directive was issued in December 2010 and was obtained by the Canadian Press, a news co-operative, under the federal Access to Information Act.

It says in "exceptional circumstances" where there is a threat to human life or public safety, urgency may require Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to "share the most complete information available at the time with relevant authorities, including information based on intelligence provided by foreign agencies that may have been derived from the use of torture or mistreatment."

While the directive does not give CSIS permission to use torture on its own suspects, it allows the agency to accept and use information from agencies that may have used torture to extract the data.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told the agency ignoring such information is "an unacceptable risk to public safety."

"Therefore, in situations where a serious risk to public safety exists, and where lives may be at stake, I expect and thus direct CSIS to make the protection of life and property its overriding priority, and share the necessary information -- properly described and qualified -- with appropriate authorities," he wrote.

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