Britain to pay compensation to Guantanamo detainees: report

16th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain is to pay millions of pounds in compensation to former Guantanamo Bay detainees to head off potentially damaging court actions, ITN News reported late Monday.

One former prisoner was in line to receive more than one million pounds (1.6 million dollars, 1.1 million euros), said the report.

The reported settlement comes after the High Court ordered the release of 500,000 related documents in July, as part of an action brought against the government by six ex-detainees of the notorious US prison camp.

Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil el Banna, Richard Belmar, Omar Deghayes, Binyam Mohamed, Martin Mubanga have accused Britain's intelligence services of having been complicit in their torture while they were detained at Guantanamo.

The Cabinet Office, which handles government business, said in a statement that the government would on Tuesday update parliament about the case.

It pointed out that Prime Minister David Cameron had told parliament on July 6 that a situation in which the reputation of the security services has been called into question had to be resolved.

Experts believe the government was keen to avoid a costly court case and the settlement was finally agreed after weeks of negotiations, with two lawyers acting as independent adjudicators.

Details of the settlement will remain confidential, as agreed by the men and the government.

But British newspapers on both the right and the left have accused the government of seeking to cover up its involvement in the torture of terror suspects.

And Britain's rights watchdog, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, called in February for an urgent independent probe into claims that security services were complicit in the torture of more than 20 such suspects.

© 2010 AFP

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