UK gives up fight for Guantanamo captives

Czar

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/alqaida/story/0,12469,998461,00.html
sad day for justice :(
Senior ministers are resigned to the prospect that the two British prisoners who face US military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba cannot be repatriated to stand trial in UK courts because the legal barriers to such a political compromise are insurmountable.
The stalemate has become hugely embarrassing to Tony Blair as he heads for Washington this week to enjoy the rare honour of addressing a joint session of Congress.

The Britons are among six designated prisoners - held incommunicado for 18 months since the Afghan campaign - facing secret justice before a military tribunal. If they plead not guilty, they could risk the death penalty for alleged terrorist offences.

The fact that two of the six are British citizens has led to speculation in Whitehall that they may have been chosen in the hope that, faced with a strong prosecution case, they will accept plea-bargaining and tell what they know in return for leniency.

But British officials deny claims by MPs who have visited Capitol Hill that a formal US offer to send back Moazzam Begg and Feroz Abbasi was rejected by David Blunkett, the home secretary, because he could not guarantee, as the Bush administration had demanded, that they would face trial in Britain for alleged intelligence offences.

"That offer might have been discussed among US officials, but there were the usual fissures between the state department and the department of defence. It was never agreed among them," said one Whitehall official. The US defence department would control a military tribunal at Guantanamo.

One former minister with close military and political contacts in the US is adamant that he was told in Washington: "We would be happy to send these guys back, but you have no law to prosecute them. We are not going to just let them go."

British lawyers say that intelligence or interrogation-based evidence would make it hard for the crown prosecution service even to try to mount a successful prosecution and that, in any case, defence lawyers would argue that lack of access to their clients for 18 months rendered a fair trial impossible.
 

Fencer128

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Jun 18, 2001
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Yep. read something like that myself. I'd wait until nearer the time when the trials are due to begin, public pressure mounts on Blair, and he has to at least *ask* the US in order to save some face back home.

Cheers,

Andy
 

freegeeks

Diamond Member
May 7, 2001
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When it would be an american facing such a trial in the UK, the Bush administration would probably send cruise missiles into London. After all he made it clear that he could not rule out a military action when an american should face trial before the ICC in The Hague.


linky

The proposal to end participation in UN peacekeeping originated last year in the US Congress, which even authorised the President to rescue any American held by the Hague-based court. A sole dissenter pointed out that this would amount to invasion of the Netherlands.

edit: added link
 

Czar

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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Originally posted by: freegeeks
When it would be an american facing such a trial in the UK, the Bush administration would probably send cruise missiles into London. After all he made it clear that he could not rule out a military action when an american should face trial before the ICC in The Hague.
hypocrisy at its best
 

jjones

Lifer
Oct 9, 2001
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Am I missing something here? You guys want these two Brits to go back to the UK to stand trial when it's known that they will likely not be prosecuted. And it's a sad day for justice? Sounds to me if we send them back, then that would be a sad day for justice.
 

Czar

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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Originally posted by: jjones
Am I missing something here? You guys want these two Brits to go back to the UK to stand trial when it's known that they will likely not be prosecuted. And it's a sad day for justice? Sounds to me if we send them back, then that would be a sad day for justice.
its sad that the only hope of stopping the unjust trials at Guantanamo is now gone
 

Fencer128

Platinum Member
Jun 18, 2001
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Originally posted by: jjones
Am I missing something here? You guys want these two Brits to go back to the UK to stand trial when it's known that they will likely not be prosecuted. And it's a sad day for justice? Sounds to me if we send them back, then that would be a sad day for justice.
Who said they won't be prosecuted?!?!?

If the evidence is there - they will face justice, if the evidence is not there, justice will also prevail.

Andy
 

etech

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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Originally posted by: Fencer128
Originally posted by: jjones
Am I missing something here? You guys want these two Brits to go back to the UK to stand trial when it's known that they will likely not be prosecuted. And it's a sad day for justice? Sounds to me if we send them back, then that would be a sad day for justice.
Who said they won't be prosecuted?!?!?

If the evidence is there - they will face justice, if the evidence is not there, justice will also prevail.

Andy

Read the story before commenting next time.

"Ministers believe legal barriers rule out trial in British courts "

 

Fencer128

Platinum Member
Jun 18, 2001
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Read the story before commenting next time.

"Ministers believe legal barriers rule out trial in British courts "
Well thank you! I did. And the reference from which the above statement is inferred seems to be the home secretary's quote:

But British officials deny claims by MPs who have visited Capitol Hill that a formal US offer to send back Moazzam Begg and Feroz Abbasi was rejected by David Blunkett, the home secretary, because he could not guarantee, as the Bush administration had demanded, that they would face trial in Britain for alleged intelligence offences.
That's right - he could not guarantee - under our system the evidence is reviewed by the crown prosecution service in order to ascertain whether there is enough to warrant going to trial. If there is evidence of any reasonable degree then a trial would happen.

Plus, call me cynical, but if the government wanted the CPS to agree to a trial - they could pull strings to make it happen. The simple fact is the government would like to ask for the extradition but they know that the US would say "No" - so, it's best not to ask.

British lawyers say that intelligence or interrogation-based evidence would make it hard for the crown prosecution service even to try to mount a successful prosecution and that, in any case, defence lawyers would argue that lack of access to their clients for 18 months rendered a fair trial impossible.
Well that just sums it up really doesn't it? You've got this Spanish inquisition style confession extracted without legal counsel.

"The UK won't prosecute off of this because they have some 'high and mighty' morality when it comes to justice. We'll do it in the US because we just want convictions."

Cheers,

Andy
 

freegeeks

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May 7, 2001
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Czar, Fencer128

Having a discussion about this is futile.
After all you have a discussion with americans and they are always right.

Liberal european treehuggers like us should crawl back to our hole and be nice lapdogs for our american masters

 

Nitemare

Lifer
Feb 8, 2001
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Originally posted by: freegeeks
Czar, Fencer128

Having a discussion about this is futile.
After all you have a discussion with americans and they are always right.

Liberal european treehuggers like us should crawl back to our hole and be nice lapdogs for our american masters
Woah! You took the words right out of my mouth ;)

There is too much heiny kissing going on in the EU right now for these 2 gents to go to trial. All it would take is for the Muslim clerics to take to the streets, maybe burn a few more schools and they would be shipped back to Afghanistan.
 

jjones

Lifer
Oct 9, 2001
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Originally posted by: freegeeks
Czar, Fencer128

Having a discussion about this is futile.
After all you have a discussion with americans and they are always right.

Liberal european treehuggers like us should crawl back to our hole and be nice lapdogs for our american masters
If the shoe fits. Let me see, your so-called contributions to the discussion:

When it would be an american facing such a trial in the UK, the Bush administration would probably send cruise missiles into London. After all he made it clear that he could not rule out a military action when an american should face trial before the ICC in The Hague.

you bet.

Blair should follow the Bush strategy for situations like this.

Send the SAS to cuba to "rescue" the Brits.
As Czar said, "hypocrisy at its best"
 

Fencer128

Platinum Member
Jun 18, 2001
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It's sad that in the degenerate free-for-all that this thread has become, we've lost sight of some very debateable points. Is anyone going to pick up my reasoning on my last post?

Cheers,

Andy
 

Fencer128

Platinum Member
Jun 18, 2001
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There is too much heiny kissing going on in the EU right now for these 2 gents to go to trial. All it would take is for the Muslim clerics to take to the streets, maybe burn a few more schools and they would be shipped back to Afghanistan.
Right. And by that logic, there's too much of a 9/11 "revenge" type mentality in the US - 3 minutes in the dock, a guilty verdict and swift execution would follow asap. I would hope that you could see the lack of trust swings both ways here.

Cheers,

Andy
 

jjones

Lifer
Oct 9, 2001
15,425
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Originally posted by: Fencer128
It's sad that in the degenerate free-for-all that this thread has become, we've lost sight of some very debateable points. Is anyone going to pick up my reasoning on my last post?

Cheers,

Andy
Yeah, I will. The US wants to guarantee that these guys go to trial, not be released on some technicality. I have all kinds of problems with what's being done but I also can't really comment on it because I have no idea of what kind of precedence the US has in holding these guys and bringing them to trial under a military tribunal. I'm given to understand that there is precedence for this, but can anyone point to it, or point to anything contrary to it?

Also, I wonder what the chances were that these fellows would go to trial in the UK should they have been remanded directly into the hands of the British government at the time of capture, without our, as you put it, Spanish Inquisition?

 

freegeeks

Diamond Member
May 7, 2001
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So jjones


What's wrong with my 2 first posts. Please tell me.
I posted FACTS - I hope you do know what FACTS are

FACT 1
The USA doesn't want its citizens to face trial before the ICC. Look at my link

FACT 2
Great Britain wants the same thing for its citizens when it comes to the secret military courts but the USA refuses.

FACT 3
the Bush lovers come in this thread and fail to see the hypocrisy from their own administration

Who are the hypocrits ?????


 

jjones

Lifer
Oct 9, 2001
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Also, I will add, why is it that the UK is more fit to bring these men to trial? Just as the actions of citizens that break the law in country other than theirs are subject to the laws of that country, these men were captured during the US conflict with Afghanistan and should be subject to US military laws. They are mercenaries, are they not?
 

freegeeks

Diamond Member
May 7, 2001
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Also, I will add, why is it that the UK is more fit to bring these men to trial? Just as the actions of citizens that break the law in country other than theirs are subject to the laws of that country, these men were captured during the US conflict with Afghanistan and should be subject to US military laws. They are mercenaries, are they not?

JJones I'll try to follow your logic.

Let's say that an off duty american soldier is arrested in Kosovo because he raped and killed 5 women.
Should he face trial in Kosovo?? Should he face trial before the ICC or should he face trial in the USA.

I just want to clarify that your govt. doesn't want to follow your own logic. The Bush administration doesn't want that american citizens charged of certain crimes (warcrimes, crimes against humanity) should appear before a court outside the US.
 

Czar

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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Originally posted by: freegeeks
I follow your logic.

Let's say that an off duty american soldier s arrested in Kosovo because he raped and killed 5 women.
Should he face trial in Kosovo?? Should he face trial before the ICC or should he face trial in the USA.
and as an example a US soldier off duty stabbed a man 5 times here, got sued for attemted murder, icelandic courts released him for custody at the US base and the next thing we know he is on active duty:|
 

jjones

Lifer
Oct 9, 2001
15,425
2
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Originally posted by: freegeeks
So jjones


What's wrong with my 2 first posts. Please tell me.
I posted FACTS - I hope you do know what FACTS are

FACT 1
The USA doesn't want its citizens to face trial before the ICC. Look at my link

FACT 2
Great Britain wants the same thing for its citizens when it comes to the secret military courts but the USA refuses.

FACT 3
the Bush lovers come in this thread and fail to see the hypocrisy from their own administration

Who are the hypocrits ?????
You.

This is fact? "the Bush administration would probably send cruise missiles into London."

This is fact? "Blair should follow the Bush strategy for situations like this.

Send the SAS to cuba to "rescue" the Brits "

Who are the Bush lovers in this thread? Not me. etech maybe. You're so blinded by your hatred for Bush you don't even realize this thread is not about him. It is you that it is impossible to have a discussion with. And I'll refrain from further discussion with you because I really don't wish to waste my time. Fencer128 on the other hand, is always capable of having a decent discussion.

 

Fencer128

Platinum Member
Jun 18, 2001
2,700
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Yeah, I will. The US wants to guarantee that these guys go to trial, not be released on some technicality. I have all kinds of problems with what's being done but I also can't really comment on it because I have no idea of what kind of precedence the US has in holding these guys and bringing them to trial under a military tribunal. I'm given to understand that there is precedence for this, but can anyone point to it, or point to anything contrary to it?
Trial is fine. But trial for what on what evidence. Interviews I have seen with military lawyers have constantly referred to how this is an "open and fair" process - but cannot tell us the charges or what evidence is to be admitted. Kind of goes against the spirit of "open and fair" IMHO.

The "technicallity" that these people would be released on (and I'm not assuming they're guilty here, quite the contrary as true justice demands) would be insufficient evidence. A few months ago this would be all the courts in the UK would be concerned with. Now, after the detention in X-ray, interrogation procedure and denail to legal council you would have a very hard time convincing an impartial (I use that term very deliberately) UK court that any evidence, testimony collected in this way was admissable. Why should it be?

Also, I wonder what the chances were that these fellows would go to trial in the UK should they have been remanded directly into the hands of the British government at the time of capture, without our, as you put it, Spanish Inquisition?
The chances would be much higher, as I laid out above. I say Spanish inquistion not because I honetsly believe people are put on the rack - but to make it very clear that this is IMHO not a "normal" or "proper" way to conduct a legal investigation, far from it - as with the inquistion I believe all that matters is a confession or equivalent evidence is obtained in order to process a guilty verdict. Not the means or the truth. This is what the public lust after and the government wish to deliver. That would be no way to aspire to any kind of "justice" as the civilised world knows it.

Cheers,

Andy

 

jjones

Lifer
Oct 9, 2001
15,425
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Originally posted by: freegeeks
JJones I'll try to follow your logic.

Let's say that an off duty american soldier is arrested in Kosovo because he raped and killed 5 women.
Should he face trial in Kosovo?? Should he face trial before the ICC or should he face trial in the USA.
That's simple for me. In Kosovo. I don't agree that just because he is in the military, that he is not subject to the laws of the country he is in when not fullfilling some military obligation. If he were accused of breaking the law while following military orders, that is another matter.

 

freegeeks

Diamond Member
May 7, 2001
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You.

This is fact? "the Bush administration would probably send cruise missiles into London."

This is fact? "Blair should follow the Bush strategy for situations like this.

Send the SAS to cuba to "rescue" the Brits "

Who are the Bush lovers in this thread? Not me. etech maybe. You're so blinded by your hatred for Bush you don't even realize this thread is not about him. It is you that it is impossible to have a discussion with. And I'll refrain from further discussion with you because I really don't wish to waste my time. Fencer128 on the other hand, is always capable of having a decent discussion.
FACT 4
instead of answering my questions you are using my sarcasm bits.
Just answer on the stuff i posted
 

freegeeks

Diamond Member
May 7, 2001
5,460
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That's simple for me. In Kosovo. I don't agree that just because he is in the military, that he is not subject to the laws of the country he is in when not fullfilling some military obligation. If he were accused of breaking the law while following military orders, that is another matter.
OK, if I follow your logic these "illegal combatants" should have a trial in Afghanistan then. After all they commited crimes in afghanistan. What the hell are they doing then in Cuba??
 

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