Judges reject case over UK role in US drone strikes

US drone Image copyright US Air Force
Image caption US drones have killed militants and civilians in Pakistan

A man whose father died in a US drone strike in Pakistan has lost a Court of Appeal battle over alleged UK involvement in such attacks.

Pakistani Noor Khan brought the case after his father was killed in 2011.

He argued UK officials could have "encouraged" murder when they reportedly told the US about the locations of individuals targeted.

Judges rejected the challenge, saying Mr Khan was inviting a UK court to sit in judgement of the United States.

During the case, Foreign Office lawyers argued a ruling in favour of Mr Khan could have damaged relations between the UK and US.

Mr Khan's father - a local elder - was attending a council meeting about a mining dispute in North Waziristan when a drone attacked, killing 40 people.

Mr Khan took his case to the Court of Appeal after judges in the High Court refused to allow it to proceed to a trial.

He was supported by human rights charity Reprieve, which said there was evidence British intelligence officials were providing information for US drone strikes.

In a written ruling, the Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, said the claims involved "serious criticisms of the acts of a foreign state".

He said UK courts would sit in judgement of such acts only in certain circumstances - and "there are no such exceptional circumstances here".

Speaking after the court rejected his case, Mr Khan, 28, said: "It seems as though the government has put itself above the law."

Reprieve said: "It is shameful that the risk of embarrassing the US has trumped British justice in this case."

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