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5 Jun 2003 : Column 552W—continued

International Criminal Court

Tony Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether, in negotiating a bilateral treaty for impunity from the International Criminal Court for American nationals, he has sought assurances from the United States that an American suspected of war crimes would be prosecuted in the United States for the full range of war crimes specified in the Rome Statute; and if he will make a statement. [116908]

Mr. Rammell: There have been no negotiations on a bilateral non-surrender (to the ICC) Agreement with the US since officials met for preliminary discussion on 17 October 2002. In the course of those discussions, it was explained that before entering into any such agreement, the UK would need assurances that inter alia US courts have jurisdiction over all crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC as defined in the Statute.

Iraq

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many scientists and other personnel linked to Saddam Hussein's regime have been identified by the Coalition as key figures in the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; how many of these have been interviewed; and how many have refused to be interviewed. [115512]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: All scientists and others associated with Saddam Hussein's regime and who were involved in Iraq's weapons programmes could potentially provide key information to assist the search for weapons of mass destruction.

A concerted effort is being made to encourage all such people to come forward. However, in the current climate in Iraq, some are still fearful of providing information to the coalition.

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) whether his Department has been given access to Iraqi documents seized by supporters of the Iraqi National Congress; [116602]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien: Instructions were issued to both UK and US Coalition forces to attempt where possible to secure documents that might provide evidence for possible prosecutions. The Coalition partners in Iraq have secured a large number of official Iraqi documents. We are working on the analysis of these documents and such information is routinely shared between the US and UK Governments as partners in the Coalition. We are also actively seeking to establish whether the claims made by some newspapers about the import of other unseen documents are genuine. We would welcome the sight of any documents discovered by journalists or private individuals so that experts can analyse those too. It will take some time to analyse all the secured documents and make judgments on them, and there is no guarantee that it will be possible to publicise the results of such analysis. If it transpires that the Government can make public any new insights, they will do so. We are withholding some of the detailed information sought by the hon. Member both under Exemption 1 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, and since it relates to information obtained from the security and intelligence agencies, which are not within the scope of the code (Part I, paragraph 6).

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he held with his US counterparts (a) before and (b) during the Gulf conflict on the desirability of seizing Iraqi government documents; and on what dates he held such discussions. [116606]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I am withholding this information under Exemption 1.C) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, as it concerns confidential exchanges with a foreign government, the disclosure of which would harm the conduct of international relations.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 8 May 2003, Official Report, column 853W, on Iraq, if he will name those invited to the Nassiriya Conference on 15 April; what the rationale was for each of their invitations; and if he will make a statement. [114864]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The meeting in Nassiriya took place on 15 April, while the military campaign was still under way. Invitations were issued to individuals and the aim was to attract a broad range of Iraqi opinion, including opposition and exile groups and those newly liberated. While the UK was invited to suggest names, the final decision on invitees rested with the US organisers of the event. I am withholding the names

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of those invited under Exemption 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information "Privacy of an Individual".

Road Accidents

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UK citizens have been killed in road accidents in (a) Italy and (b) Germany in each of the last five years. [116871]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The number of UK citizens killed in road accidents in Italy and Germany from 1998–2002, of which consular staff were notified, is as follows:

Number
Germany
19985
19993
20002
20016
20022
Italy
19988
19998
20005
20018
20028

UN Security Council Resolution 1422

Tony Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what implications Resolution 1422 of the Security Council has for compliance with other international agreements, with particular reference to the Convention against Torture and the Geneva Conventions of 1949. [116912]

Mr. Rammell: The obligations in respect of compliance for states which have ratified or acceded to these Conventions are unaffected by Resolution 1422. That resolution serves only to defer for 12 months the possibility of an investigation or prosecution by the ICC of any individual engaged on a Security Council operation and who is not a citizen of a state party to the ICC. In the unlikely event of such a person being suspected of a crime over which the ICC otherwise has jurisdiction, and the domestic authorities of the state of the individual's citizenship being unwilling or unable to investigate where appropriate, then the Security Council may allow the ICC to proceed to take action, as provided for in OP1 of the Resolution.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Khat

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he plans to classify khat as a Class A drug; and if he will make a statement; [115296]

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Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 3 June 2003]: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has no plans at present to control khat under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, but the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which advises on these matters, keeps its legal status under review.

There has in the past been only limited research on khat, carried out by either the Home Office or the Department of Health. However, the Home Office's Drugs and Alcohol Research Unit is shortly to embark on a detailed study to assess the level of harm caused by khat. It is expected that a final report will be completed in autumn 2004, with interim findings being available in spring 2004. The report will inform future decisions on whether khat should be controlled within the 1971 Act.

Agency Workers

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many agency workers have been employed by the Department in each of the last two years; and at what cost to public funds. [115193]

Mr. Blunkett: The Home Office does not maintain a central record of agency workers. Agency workers are appointed by agreement with individual units within the Department and the recruitment agencies supplying agency workers.

The information required could only be obtained at a disproportionate cost.

Anti-social Behaviour

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 28 April, Official Report, column 207W, on the anti-social behaviour White Paper, if he will list the formal consultation processes which the White Paper drew on. [112144]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The provisions on Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) in social housing were consulted on in the document "Tackling Anti-Social Tenants", and other measures were consulted on as part of the assessment of regulatory impact. However, the White Paper is primarily a response to the concerns about anti-social behaviour raised with Government by local authorities and agencies and by members of the public including through their representatives in this House.

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what financial assistance is available from his Department for initiatives to divert young people from anti-social behaviour; and if he will make a statement about how such schemes have affected the Middlesbrough South and Cleveland East, constituency. [115547]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 29 April 2003, to the hon. Member for Mid-Worcestershire (Mr. Luff), Official Report, column 32W.

In addition the Youth Justice Board funds 70 Youth Inclusion Programmes (YIPs) across England and Wales. They focus on a core group of 13 to 16-year-olds at risk of offending in deprived neighbourhoods and

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seek to reduce neighbourhood crime and arrest rates, truancy and exclusions among the target group. Their work includes tackling anti-social behaviour.

The YIP in West Middlesbrough is highly regarded and has achieved much since it began in 2000. Recent data shows a 53 per cent. reduction in arrest rates among the target group. To provide further diversionary activities for a younger group (9 to 12-year-olds) a new 'Junior YIP' has recently been established in Whanney Bank. This has been funded by West Middlesbrough New Deals Community. The YIPs are strongly supported by the local Youth Offending Team.

Positive Futures has a project called 'Hoop Dreams' in Teeside (running at Eston Sports Academy). Its funding for 2002–03 was £63,000, of which £19,000 came from the Home Office.

In addition in the Middlesbrough/South Tees area four Splash schemes have taken place (holiday activities aimed at reducing youth crime). The four schemes were Central Middlesbrough, East Middlesbrough:


Mr. Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has held with the Deputy Prime Minister on the effect of the provisions of the Anti-social Behaviour Bill upon the duties of landlords under Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the demotion of tenancies and exclusion from premises. [115274]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Anti-social Behaviour Bill is a cross-departmental Bill. Officials and Ministers in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Office have liaised closely over the policy contained in the Bill.


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