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Homeland Security

Doubts cast on UK trials of Camp X-Ray prisoners

IRNA

London, Nov 21, IRNA -- The government`s independent adviser on 
miscarriages of justice added to the dilemma faced by Prime Minister 
Tony Blair over the 9 British Muslims held by the US in Guantanamo Bay
by suggesting Friday they could not be convicted under UK law. 
Lord Bremman said that he was "extremely doubtful" that the 
Britons held illegally by the US among over 650 foreign nationals 
could be successfully prosecuted if they were repatriated to face 
trial in Britain. 
Any attempt to bring the nine men to trial in the UK would face 
legal hurdles over the quality of evidence that could be brought 
against them, he said in an interview with the Financial Times. 
The independent advisor suggested that testimony given at Camp X- 
Ray in the US base, without their lawyers being present or through 
using plea bargaining, would almost certainly be inadmissible in a 
British court. 
A judge might also refuse to hear the case because the length of 
time the detainees have been held at the base in Cuba meant that they 
cannot receive the fair trial requirements of Britain`s Human Rights 
Act, said the barrister, who formerly chaired the Bar Association. 
Following a meeting with George W. Bush during his state visit to 
the UK on Wednesday, Liberal Democrat Leader Charles Kennedy suggested
that the U.S. president would respond favorably to a request from 
Prime Minister Tony Blair to have the Britons repatriated. 
But speaking at a subsequent press conference with Bush on 
Thursday, Blair stressed that the fate of the British detainees had 
not yet been resolved. 
Reports have previously suggested that Home Secretary David 
Blunkett has already refused a U.S. offer for the Britons to be 
returned to the UK for trial because of doubts of being able to 
obtain successful prosecutions. 
All foreign nationals in Guantanamo Bay have been detained for up 
to two years with charge or trial, but the U.S. has recently proposed 
to start putting some of them in front of military tribunals. 
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