Iraq torture inquiry will not investigate whether British troops handed suspects to U.S.

An inquiry into Britain’s alleged complicity in torture during the Iraq war will not investigate whether our forces handed suspects to the Americans for interrogation.

The probe, ordered last year by David Cameron, will not look at the issue of detainees being transferred between forces fighting in Iraq and elsewhere – known as ‘extraordinary rendition’.

MPs attacked the decision, which appeared to contradict claims made by the Prime Minister that the inquiry would examine ‘all the issues’.

Bearing the scars: Al Marjar Al Kabir policeman claimed they were bound and beaten by Royal Military Police

Bearing the scars: Al Marjar Al Kabir policeman claimed they were bound and beaten by Royal Military Police

This included ‘whether Britain was implicated in the improper treatment of detainees held by other countries’.

Tory MP Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition, said: ‘To hold an inquiry into rendition without fully addressing detainee transfers is only doing half the job.’

It emerged yesterday that Sir Peter Gibson, chairman of the UK Detainee Inquiry, had written to Mr Tyrie to tell him that ‘military detention operations should not be one of its key themes’.

‘Allegations relating to military detention operations post-2003 are being covered under separate arrangements by the Ministry of Defence,’ he added

The MoD had originally denied accusations that its forces had been complicit in U.S. rendition,  and that any such transfers involving the UK had taken place.

But two years ago, ministers were forced to admit that two detainees captured by British forces in Iraq and handed to the U.S. in 2004 had subsequently been transferred to the U.S. base of Bagram in Afghanistan.

Mr Tyrie said: ‘We do not know how this was allowed to happen, if other instances have similarly slipped through the net, nor if the procedures in place are sufficient to prevent this from happening in the future.’

Human rights campaigners had hoped the inquiry would uncover other rendition cases.


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