» Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Iraq/Prisoner Mistreatment

The Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) advised journalists that Adam Ingram had issued a Written Ministerial Statement this afternoon relating to the number of investigations into allegations of prisoner mistreatment in Iraq. Asked to explain the context of the Written Ministerial Statement, the PMS said that Adam Ingram had announced to the House on 4 May that 33 cases of Iraqi civilian deaths, injuries or alleged mistreatment were being investigated. Those figures had been repeated by the Defence Secretary and by the Prime Minister a few days later. Subsequently, it had been discovered that the actual figure was 61 and that an additional 14 investigations had been initiated since 4 May. This error had occurred because there had been no centralised point in Iraq or the MoD to co-coordinate the allegations being made. That problem had now been recognised and resolved inasmuch as all complaints were now registered centrally by the MoD. As she understood it, any further figures relating to this issue would be reported to the House. Asked if the increase in the figures could be the result of more people coming forward following a greater awareness of the reporting of prisoner mistreatment, the PMS explained that the increase had come about because different parts of the MoD had been investigating different cases without recording them at a central point. Asked to explain the delay in coming forward with the correct figures, the PMS said that the MoD had been doing a lot of work to sort this issue out and to ensure that Parliament was informed of the correct figures as soon as possible. Asked if the Prime Minister would make a Statement to the House to explain how the error had occurred, the PMS pointed out that once the error had come to light, Adam Ingram had taken the first opportunity to issue a Written Ministerial Statement today setting out the position.

Asked for a reaction to a report in today’s FT suggesting that American government lawyers had advised President Bush that the use of torture by US interrogators could be justified in certain instances, the PMS said that as she understood it, the report was based on an internal leaked document of which she was not aware. She underlined that the British Government did not sanction the use of torture. We had ECHR obligations to fulfil. Any allegations that were made against individuals were, of course, investigated in full. Asked to explain why the UK did not allow its troops to be prosecuted for mistreating prisoners, the PMS said that any investigations were carried out rigorously by the Military Police and SIB. She took the opportunity to remind journalists that decisions relating to seven cases were pending in terms of whether prosecutions by the military authorities should take place or not. Asked if the Prime Minister had known about the US legal advice, particularly in the light of the fact that there were a number of British detainees at Guantanamo Bay, the PMS said that it wasn’t our policy to comment on leaked documents, regardless of the fact that it was an internal memo which we had not seen.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


June 2004
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« May   Jul »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh