MINISTERS pushed ahead with controversial plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda despite being specifically warned about the regime’s record of torturing and killing political opponents, it has been revealed.

Documents revealed in a hearing in London today ahead of the full legal challenge to the policy showed an unnamed official was tasked with preparing an overview of the country’s human rights record among other details.

Tuesday’s hearing comes as a result of a legal challenge by BBC News, The Times and The Guardian, who are pushing for 11 documents prepared before the Rwanda policy was announced to be made public in the upcoming High Court appeal against it.

The first flight to Rwanda was grounded in June after judges at the European Court of Human Rights ruled it should not go ahead and referred the matter to the High Court in London.

A hearing is scheduled for next month.

Ministers at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office were sent an email by the unnamed official on April 26 which raised serious concerns about Rwanda’s human rights record, the BBC reports.

High Court judge Lord Justice Lewis was told the official had written in a covering email: "There are state control, security, surveillance structures from the national level down... political opposition is not tolerated and arbitrary detention, torture and even killings are accepted methods of enforcing control too"

READ MORE: Tories risk £120m on Rwanda plan – but country 'can only accept 200 migrants'

Jude Bunting QC, appearing for the media organisations, told the court the withheld evidence from the official was likely to be the most critical material about the Rwanda policy.

He said: "The sensitivity of this policy cannot be understated.

"The public needs to understand the material that was available to the [government] at the time the decisions under challenge were taken, the evidence that is said to weigh against, as well as to justify, this flagship policy, and the reasons why the [government] decided to proceed."

Lord Justice Lewis will rule whether the material should be kept secret.

Last month, the Court heard Rwanda had initially been excluded from a list of potential countries to take migrants from the UK.

Then-foreign secretary Dominic Raab was warned striking a deal with Rwanda would restrict the UK from criticising the country’s human rights record.

The much criticised policy – if it passes legal challenge – will see asylum seekers who arrive in the UK by “illegal, dangerous or unnecessary” routes deported to a processing centre in Rwanda where they will either be granted asylum there or sent to another country.

But asylum rights campaigners have warned there are no safe routes for most asylum seekers to travel to the UK.

The Government has traded £120 million in development payments to take asylum seekers – potentially as few as 200 – away from the UK.

It is intended to deter dangerous small boat crossings in the English Channel but reports have suggested people smugglers and traffickers are simply cramming more on at cut rates