» Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Security and Counter Terrorism

Asked if there was anything else the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) could say on what had been said by the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Home Secretary regarding detention, the PMOS said that it would be better to leave any comment until Thursday. However the important thing was that the position has always been, for instance on questioning suspects, that we want to have a longer period but there needs to be a consensus. We do what we believe is necessary to support the police and it will be in that general ethos that the proposals to be published on Thursday will be seen.

Asked what status the announcement on Thursday would have, would it be a draft bill or a set of proposals, the PMOS said that there would be a definite set of proposals which will then go out for consultation. Asked if that would mean as a bill, the PMOS said he would check the precise procedural status and get back.

Put to the PMOS that there does not seem to be any consensus at all on even the 28 days clause, and did the Prime Minister still think 28 days was necessary, the PMOS said that if the reporter actually looked at what had happened opinion wise on a variety of fronts since the matter went through Parliament, you have seen various people say that they now recognise there is a need for a longer period from people who were opposed to it in the first place. The entire point of an exercise such as this is to build consensus. Certainly if you look at the evidence as it came out of cases that did support the suggestion of a longer period. In some of the cases to date the police have found that they have used up the entire period. The reasons why were because of the complexity of the cases but also the fact that often there were a multiple use of languages and dialects, and computer systems and that was what made the evidence gathering process that bit more difficult.

Asked if the Prime Minister would go along with the idea of a document setting out the detailed examples and evidence, the PMOS said that there was evidence from the police presented the last time, so while certain people chose to reject the evidence we should not establish the myth that there was no evidence. Put to the PMOS that when the Home Secretary saw the evidence he was convinced, the PMOS said that at the time there was evidence for an extended period at the time.

Asked to give examples of people who had changed their minds once the legal evidence had been produced, the PMOS said it wasn’t for him to highlight but if you looked at the views of the Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, he had seemed to indicate he now recognised the need for a longer period of some duration.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Search for related news

1 Comment »

  1. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,486182,00.html

    Comment by George N — 6 Jun 2007 on 11:08 pm | Link

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