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Government £12m payout to Guantanamo detainees

Government £12m payout to Guantanamo detainees

Categories: Latest News

Friday August 05 2011

The Daily Telegraph on Thursday reported that MI5 and MI6 have agreed to pay £12 million to former British detainees of Guantanamo Bay, who “claimed that the Government had allowed them to be sent to be mistreated at the US detention centre”. From the paper:

“Details of the payments are contained in the accounts for the security and intelligence agencies, which were published this week.

“They show that the agencies spent £13.7 million on “losses and special payments” in the 12 months to the end of March this year.

“A note to the accounts says the sum was swelled by “an SIA [Security and Intelligence Agencies] contribution to a payment in respect of legal claims in excess of £250k”.

Exact figures of the payout have not been released because of a confidentiality agreement with the lawyers of the former detainees who deny all wrongdoing, although they are estimated to be around £12 million.

“This is because the agencies have on average spent £1.5 million a year on losses and special payments over the past five years. The total compensation figure paid to 16 Britons who were suing the Government is likely to be around £14 million, and will have been swelled by payments from other government departments.

“Last night Patrick Mercer, a senior Tory MP, said: “I hope that this was the right decision to pay suspects at the same time as not rewarding our own agents in the way that they should be. Quite rightly their work is not obvious, but our intelligence agencies are stunningly successful and anything that hits their morale and efficiency has got to be very seriously questioned.

“The legal settlement was first announced by Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, to the House of Commons last November.

“The sums were paid not just to the detainees who brought legal action against the government but to an additional four who were not involved in the court cases but could have sued.”

It has in recent years emerged that the UK government was aware of the torture of UK citizens, and in the case for example of Binyam Mohamed they were even cooperating with the CIA whilst fully aware of their mistreatment.

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