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Press Briefing: On Guantanamo Bay


Press Briefing: On Guantanamo Bay

In answer to questions, the PMOS said that we had been in regular discussion with the US about the detainees from the time the first UK nationals had arrived there in January 2002. Since then, we had pressed the US consistently to resolve the situation. At no time had we endorsed the idea of military commissions.

Although it was important for us to keep in touch with US thinking, we had not given tacit approval, played any part or assisted the US in any way with procedures for the commissions.

Our discussions with the US authorities had focussed on making it clear to them that the detainees should receive a fair trial. Asked for a reaction to today's FT report in which it had been suggested that the Home Secretary had turned down the US's offer to repatriate the six British detainees, the PMOS underlined that the Home Secretary had never blocked any proposal to try the detainees in the UK. He said that since the US was the detaining power, they had decided to try the detainees under US jurisdiction.

Asked if the Attorney General had advised the Government as to the provisions of the Geneva or Hague Conventions under which the detainees were being held, the PMOS said that we never commented on advice from the Attorney General.


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