Britain to pay compensation to Guantanamo detainees: reports

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The British government is expected to announce Tuesday it will pay more than a million pounds' (1.6 million dollars, 1.1 million euros) compensation to former Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The Cabinet Office confirmed reports by the ITV News that the government would update lawmakers about High Court actions brought by ex-prisoners, who claim British security forces were complicit in their torture.

Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil el Banna, Richard Belmar, Omar Deghayes, Binyam Mohamed, Martin Mubanga all took action against the government, and the High Court ordered the release of 500,000 related documents in July.

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.

The Cabinet Office said: "The prime minister set out clearly in his statement to the House (of Commons) on July 6 that we need to deal with the totally unsatisfactory situation where for 'the past few years, the reputation of our security services has been overshadowed by allegations about their involvement in the treatment of detainees held by other countries'."

The Cabinet Office 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.

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

© 2010 AFP

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