Metropolitan police want secret court to hear police spy cases

Move to tribunal would limit rights of women who allege undercover officers tricked them into relationships

Rob Evans and Paul Lewis

Three women who started the legal action say they had relationships with the undercover police officer Mark Kennedy, pictured. Photograph: Philipp Ebeling for the Guardian

Police chiefs have been accused of attempting to hide away a potentially embarrassing court case launched by women who say they were tricked into forming long-term, intimate relationships with undercover officers.

The women have begun legal action against the police, alleging undercover officers „deliberately and knowingly deceived“ them into the relationships of up to six years by concealing their identity.

The women, who say they have suffered immense emotional trauma and pain, want the case heard at the high court. But lawyers for the Metropolitan police have applied to move the case into a little-known tribunal.

If the case goes to tribunal, the women will get no automatic right to an oral hearing, nor the chance to cross-examine witnesses and see the evidence, nor read the reasons for losing if that were the verdict, nor appeal against the verdict. (more on