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Blackburn MP Jack Straw welcomes report on 'torture'
2:31pm Friday 20th December 2013 in News
BLACKBURN MP Jack Straw spoke out in parliament yesterday to deny that he knowingly facilitated the torture of British citizens by US authorities at Guantanamo Bay during his time as foreign secretary.
The Labour MP said he welcomed a report published yesterday by retired judge Sir Peter Gibson, who reviewed 20,000 top secret documents after allegations of wrongdoing by MI5 and MI6 officers in the wake of 9/11.
Government minister without portfolio Ken Clarke announced that a further investigation by a committee of MPs and peers will now be held into areas of concern highlighted by the report.
Mr Straw welcomed the opportunity to put his case before the investigation, as he had previously been unable to answer accusations that he had been aware of mistreatment of prisoners, which had been previously levelled against him.
The former minister said that in January 2002 he agreed that the UK ‘should not stand in the way’ of UK nationals who were detained in Afghanistan by the US being transferred to Guantanamo Bay, but that he had done so after careful consideration, and had no knowledge that the detainees would be mistreated while in custody.
He said: “I did so, after careful legal advice, and because at the time this was the only practical alternative to their remaining in custody in Afghanistan."
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