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Contract Killings


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Libyan military commander suing Britain for alleged complicity in his rendition and torture


Libyan military commander suing Britain for alleged complicity in his rendition and torture has refused to take part in the Gibson detainee inquiry because its powers are "seriously deficient." Abdul Hakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council, will join several former Guantanamo Bay detainees who are also boycotting the inquiry into wider allegations of British collusion in torture, his lawyers Leigh Day & Co said today. There have been widespread concerns over the terms of reference and protocols under which the inquiry, which was announced by David Cameron in 2010, will operate. Human rights groups including Reprieve, Amnesty International, Freedom from Torture, Cage Prisoners and Liberty have previously stated that they will not take part in the inquiry as it is currently proposed. Leigh Day's announcement came as campaigners, human rights experts and two former United Nations special rapporteurs wrote to the Prime Minister, calling on him to urgently revisit the protocols and terms of reference to address key issues. Among the key concerns is the fact that the final decision on whether material can be made public will rest with the government, with many condemning it as a "waste of time and public money." In its current form the inquiry also prevents the cross examination of security service witnesses by the victims or their representatives, as their evidence will be given behind closed doors. In the letter they state: "There is growing concern that the powers currently given to the inquiry are seriously deficient and that it will be unable to properly fulfil the UK's human rights obligations. "Without substantial changes, it will not get to the truth of Britain's involvement or ensure such abuses do not occur again." A government spokesman said: "We have every confidence that the inquiry will be able to conduct a thorough examination of the issues. "The inquiry panel will have access to all the government papers it requires. "The nature of the inquiry means that there will need to be a balance of public and private evidence sessions, but it is important to stress that the inquiry panel is committed to having as transparent a process as possible and many of the sessions will be heard in public. "The arrangements governing the publication of material reflect the importance the government attaches to protecting the public interest

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