From Prime Minister’s Questions 22nd October 2003 House of Commons
“Mr. Beith: I welcome the Prime Minister’s rapid return to robust health—[Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”] Indeed, I should like to see all three party leaders remain in robust health and leaders of their parties. May I turn the Prime Minister’s attention, however, to an unacceptable aspect of the war against terrorism—namely, the continued existence of a legal no-man’s-land at Guantanamo Bay, where UK citizens and others do not face trial under UK law or US law or according to international law? The Prime Minister has said that there must be a point in time when the issue is brought to a head. Is that point in time not before or during President Bush’s forthcoming visit to London?
The Prime Minister: First, I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his good wishes. Secondly, yes, the issue must be resolved soon. I cannot say exactly when, but there are two alternatives: either sufficient undertakings will be given about the form of trial that the detainees will have under a military commission, or they will be returned to the United Kingdom. The British Attorney-General has been in touch with his American counterpart in order to try to make sure that sufficient undertakings are given. It may not be possible to bring the US rules into conformity with ours, in which case the detainees will be returned to the UK.”
So Tony Blair has stated that the Brit detainees will be tried in Guantanamo in conformity with British laws or that they will be returned to Britain; and he has done this in Parliament where, if he misleads the House, he must resign. This is a hostage to fortune unless he is totally certain that the above is true.
Note, British law does not admit any evidence from the accused that is taken without caution (like Miranda) and recorded. So no ‘confession’ evidence already obtained would be usable. European Human Rights Treaties and Legislation would guarantee access to counsel of choice and a fair trial to European standards. So this will drive a coach and horses through the proposed military tribunals (kangaroo courts).
So, if the Brits come home without a trial, what does this say about the detainees of other nationalities who will still face those kangaroo courts?