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International Terrorism

12. Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on links between terrorist groups in Northern Ireland and terrorist organisations in other countries. [51679]

Jane Kennedy: We are aware that various terrorist organisations in Northern Ireland have been linked to international terror groups at various points over the last 30 years, and this is a matter of concern.

The peace process in Northern Ireland is not perfect. There are still issues to be resolved. This will only come about through dialogue and parties fulfilling their responsibilities under the Belfast Agreement.


13. Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement about his policy on fugitives from justice. [51680]

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Dr. John Reid: At the talks at Weston Park last summer, both the Irish and UK Governments recognised that there is an issue to be addressed, with the completion of the early release scheme, about supporters of organisations now on ceasefire against whom there are outstanding prosecutions, and in some cases extradition proceedings, for offences committed before 10 April 1998. Such people would, if convicted, stand to benefit from the early release scheme. The Governments accept that it would be a natural development of the scheme for such prosecutions not to be pursued. Consideration continues of the best way to discharge this commitment.

Prisoner Releases

14. Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many prisoners have been released under the Good Friday agreement; and what groups those prisoners have been affiliated with. [51681]

Jane Kennedy: To date (23 April 2002), 447 individuals have been released early under the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998.

Information is held, for management purposes, in relation to the perceived paramilitary association of prisoners in Northern Ireland. The table sets out details of the perceived association of the 447 individuals granted early release.

Perceived associationTotal
Former INLA8
Republican Association3
Loyalist Association6
Criminal or No Association12

Saville Inquiry

15. Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the cost has been to date of the Saville inquiry. [51682]

Mr. Browne: The cost of the Bloody Sunday inquiry to the Northern Ireland Office, as at 31 March 2002, is £57.9 million. This figure does not include costs to other Departments such as the Ministry of Defence.

United States (Community Support)

18. Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions he has had with the US Government on US support for communities in Northern Ireland. [51685]

Dr. John Reid: I have discussed this issue with the US Government and a range of US organisations during my visits in February and March. I am grateful for the support the United States gives to Northern Ireland. I am also

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grateful to organisations like the Irish American Partnership and the Ireland Funds for what they have done for Northern Ireland over the years.

Competition Policy

19. Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the action he has taken in the last 12 months on competition policy in financial services in Northern Ireland. [51686]

Dr. John Reid: This matter has been devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly and is no longer a matter for the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Police Service

21. Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on community safety campaigns being mounted in schools by the police service of Northern Ireland. [51688]

Jane Kennedy: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, South-East (Dr. Iddon) ref. 51684.


24. Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what regulations cover the sale of fireworks in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. [51691]

Jane Kennedy: At present the sale of fireworks is governed by the Explosives Act 1875 and Explosives (Fireworks) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999. The Explosive (Fireworks) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002 which has been laid before Parliament will then prohibit the purchase, possession, sale and use of garden fireworks except under licence and will come into effect from 6 May 2002.

Terrorist Finance

26. Mr. Soley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps the Government are taking to tackle the financing of terrorism in Northern Ireland. [51693]

Jane Kennedy: The Government's strategy for tackling terrorist crime in Northern Ireland is two fold. First, the police must have available to them robust legislative powers. The Terrorism Act 2000 contains a number of financial provisions for seeking information and restraining assets. These powers were supplemented by the Anti-Terrorist Crime and Security Act 2001, passed in the wake of the events on 11 September.

Second, in September 2000, the Government established an Organised Crime Task Force for Northern Ireland. The task force, which I chair, brings the various agencies that can make a difference, such as the police service of Northern ireland and HM Customs and Excise to agree crime types for concerted multi-agency action. The agencies have scored a number of notable successes over the past year, including the largest ever UK seizure (over 42 million) of smuggled cigarettes at Warrenpoint in November 2001. In February 2002 the police broke up a heroin distribution network and charged 15 people with serious drugs offences.

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Terrorist Amnesty

28. Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his policy is on amnesty for convicted terrorists at large. [51695]

Dr. John Reid: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for New Forest, West (Mr. Swayne), ref. 51680.

Proceeds of Crime

29. Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions his Department has had with the Criminal Assets Bureau regarding Government co-operation initiatives on the recovery of the proceeds of crime. [51696]

Jane Kennedy: My predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Kilbride (Mr. Ingram), and officials have visited the Criminal Asset bureau and the Northern Ireland Office has regular contact with the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform on a range of issues including policy on the recovery of proceeds of crime. PSNI and other UK law enforcement agencies have successful operational links with a wide range of bodies in the Republic of Ireland, including the Criminal Asset Bureau.

District Policing Partnership Boards

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects the establishment of the District Policing Partnership Boards in Northern Ireland; and what the reason for the delay in their establishment has been. [53214]

Jane Kennedy: District Policing Partnerships will be established when the appointment process, which includes the appointment of the independent members, has been completed. The statutory code of practice governing the appointment members is currently out for consultation. The consultation process is scheduled to conclude on 22 May 2002.

Solar Panels

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what buildings owned by his Department have solar panels installed. [53492]

Dr. John Reid: My Department has no buildings with solar panels installed.

Oversight Commissioner

Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he will publish the latest report received from the Oversight Commissioner. [53945]

Jane Kennedy: In accordance with section 68(4)(a) of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000, I have today laid a copy of the Oversight Commissioner's first statutory report for the year 2002 before this House.

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Fair Trade

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will instruct Government Departments to investigate how they might increase the number and value of fair trade products that they purchase. [36081]

Clare Short: Through the Department for International Development, the Government have supported fair trade (FT) initiatives for a number of years, both in developing countries and in the UK. This support forms part of a wider dialogue with the private sector and civil society to encourage the adoption of more socially responsible and ethical trade practices. As companies and consumers become more aware of the connection between the way business is done and its impact on the livelihoods of people in developing countries, so the pressure for positive change grows.

To this end, DFID has provided £250,000 this year to support the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). The ETI is a consortium of UK retail companies (with a combined annual turnover of nearly £100 billion), NGOs and trade unions committed to working together to identify and promote best practice in the implementation of codes of labour. ETI corporate members are required to report compliance down their supply chains against a base code founded on the ILO convention.

In addition, we are providing £120,000 to the Fair Trade Foundation over three years (2001–03) in support of its efforts to target new consumers through its annual Fair Trade Fortnight campaigns. The fortnight is designed to highlight the positive developmental impacts of FT and the range of FT products on offer.

With regard to direct purchasing of FT products by Government Departments, value for money considerations and the limited number of commodities for which internationally agreed FT standards exist, currently make it impractical to link Government purchasing policy to the FT mark.

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