» Monday, September 5, 2011


Asked if the PM would address the issues raised around intelligence and the UK’s relationship with the Libyan Government, the PMS said that the PM would cover those allegations in his statement. He added that the Government had made it clear that it would address such issues by setting up the Gibson Inquiry. Although its primary focus was Guantanamo case, it was open to consider other cases when serious allegations were made.

Asked if Ministers or officials knew about the documents released in Tripoli, the PMS said that these papers related to the previous Government and that current Ministers wouldn’t have access to them.

Asked if the PM was concerned about the close relationship between the former Libyan Government and the intelligence services, the PMS said he would not comment on intelligence matters, but that we had to work with different Governments all around the world, even if they didn’t share our standards, to fight terrorism and protect our citizens.

Asked if the fact that the papers were found in Moussa Koussa’s office had any bearing on him being able to leave the UK so easily, the PMS said that Moussa Koussa was a private individual who was able to travel to and from the UK freely. The Government was clear about the circumstances around him coming to the UK at the time. He would not have any immunity from prosecution in the UK, and his departure had been important in weakening the regime. Asked if he would be returning to the UK and if the PM had any regrets about how we handled him, the PMS said that at the time Moussa Koussa did speak to the police but was not arrested, and that where he travelled and when was a matter for him.

Asked if the Gibson inquiry needed to change its terms of reference, the PMS said that the focus of the inquiry was the Guantanamo cases, but that it was open to the inquiry to consider other cases that it considered important. The PM had demonstrated the importance he attached to these issues by setting up the Gibson inquiry in the first place.

Asked if the British Government should stop sharing intelligence, the PMS said that he would not comment on intelligence matters. He said we had been very clear about the way we approached these issues by setting up the Gibson inquiry. We also published guidance for intelligence personnel, which dealt with the treatment of detainees.

Asked if the Gibson inquiry was the right way to thoroughly look into the issues raised given that it had not made any progress to date, the PMS said that the Gibson Inquiry had to take account of specific cases that were subject to legal proceedings, but that it would be well placed to look at this kind of case.

Asked if the Government had concerns about rebel leaders’ links to terrorism, the PMS said that the Government was working closely with the National Transitional Council (NTC) who had clearly set out their approach to stabilisation in Libya. They were supported by many countries around the world, and we would judge them by their actions.

Asked if the PM regretted the nature of the relationship between the UK and Libyan Governments, the PMS said that it was still unclear what the allegations amounted to. The Gibson inquiry was well placed to consider the issue properly.

Asked if Gibson inquiry was likely to give priority to the Libya issues, the PMS said to wait until the PM’s statement.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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