Some detainees have announced that they are boycotting the Inquiry – will it still go ahead?
The Inquiry released a statement following this announcement. The Inquiry regrets the decision by the solicitors to the detainees not to participate in the Inquiry. We hope they will reconsider. Their decision does not affect the continuation of the Inquiry.
How can this be a robust inquiry and get to the truth, if detainees refuse to give evidence?
The Inquiry is focused on establising the extent of the UK Government’s awareness of or involvement in the alleged mistreatment of detainees held by other countries. It will do this by examining the relevant documentation held by Government and the evidence of any other person who is able to provide the Inquiry with relevant material, as well as by hearing the key Government witnesses, who will be questioned by Counsel to the Inquiry. It would offer the detainees a chance to tell their side of the story and we continue to hope that they will reconsider their position and take part.
Will you be looking into the allegations, which received significant press coverage on 4/5 September 2011, that MI6 was involved in the alleged rendition/mistreatment of Libyans Abdul Hakim Belhadj (also known as Abu Adbuallah Sadiq) and Abu Munthir?
Yes, the Inquiry will be considering these allegations and has released a statement.
Have the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference been extended specifically so that it can consider the Libyan allegations?
No. It was not necessary. Although the Inquiry’s primary focus is the UK Government’s awareness of or involvement in the mistreatment of detainees held in Guantanamo Bay in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, it has never been limited to just those cases as is clear from its Terms of Reference, published on 6 July 2011. The Inquiry can choose to consider any cases of alleged UK awareness of or involvement in the mistreatment – including rendition – of detainees held by other countries.
Will considering these allegations mean that the Inquiry will take longer than the one year timescale initially expected?
The Inquiry Panel remain committed to their aim to meet the Prime Minister’s request that they report within one year.