Previous Section Index Home Page


Criminal Records Bureau Annual Report and Accounts

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Andy Burnham): I announce that copies of the 2004–05 annual report and accounts for the Criminal Records Bureau have been placed in the Library of the House today. Arrangements are now in hand for their publication.

Lord Carlile's Report on the Terrorism Act 2000

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Charles Clarke): Lord Carlile of Berriew QC prepared a report on the operation in 2004 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which I laid before the House on 26 May 2005.

I am grateful to Lord Carlile for his detailed report and I have considered his recommendations folly. Following consultation within my department and with other relevant departments and agencies I am pleased to place my response to Lord Carlile's recommendations in the House Library today.



The Secretary of State for International Development (Hilary Benn): I am very concerned about the deepening nutritional crisis in Niger, and I spoke yesterday to Jan Egeland, the UN's Emergency Relief Co-ordinator about what needs to be done.

DFID was one of the first donors to respond to the UN Flash Appeal issued in May, when we gave £0.5 million to the World Food Programme. Following a DFID humanitarian assessment mission to Niger, we have now given a further £1.5 million to humanitarian NGOs providing emergency feeding and medical care. Our total contribution (£2 million) is equivalent to 22 per cent. of the original UN appeal and will deliver emergency nutritional therapy for up to 30,000 malnourished children, health care for up to 700,000 people, and food assistance for up to 250,000 people.
20 Jul 2005 : Column 95WS

After a slow start, there is now a substantial humanitarian operation underway. I am urging other donors to work together with the Government of Niger and humanitarian agencies to ensure that needs are met and lives are saved as quickly as possible.


Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Mr. David Hanson): I have today arranged for the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland Corporate Plan 2005–08 and Business Plan 2005–06 document to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. This document will also be made available on the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland website at

Independent Assessor of Military Complaints Procedures (Annual Report)

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Shaun Woodward): I have today arranged for copies of Jim McDonald's annual report for 2004 to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The report of the independent assessor continues to provide valuable reassurances to both the public and the Government that the Army's complaints procedures stand scrutiny. I welcome Mr. McDonald's report and I will consider it carefully. I will respond in due course.

Report and Financial Statements of Strategic Investment Board Limited

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Angela E. Smith): My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Northern Ireland (Lord Rooker) has made the following ministerial statement:

Youth Justice Agency of Northern Ireland Annual Report and Accounts for 2004–05

The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office (Mr. David Hanson): I have placed copies of the Youth Justice Agency's annual report and accounts for 2004–05 in the Libraries of both Houses.

This is the Agency's second annual report since its inception on 1 April 2003. It achieved all eight of its key performance targets and 20 of its 23 development objectives.

Independent Monitoring Commission Report on Paramilitary Activity

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Peter Hain): On 24 May 2005 I laid in Parliament and published the 5th report from the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC).

As required by the agreement that established it, the Commission reported on the nature and levels of ongoing paramilitary activity and other criminality including that undertaken by the Ulster Volunteer Force. The Commission concluded that the Progressive Unionist Party had not done as much as it should in
20 Jul 2005 : Column 96WS
exerting influence to prevent such activities. The Commission recommended that I should continue the financial measures against the Progressive Unionist Party.

I have considered carefully the IMC's report and I have today written to the Progressive Unionist Party to advise them that I am minded to remove for a period of 12 months the party's entitlement to financial assistance payable to political parties in Northern Ireland. I have provided the PUP with seven days from today to make representations to me. At the end of that period I will take into account any such representations made to me and will reach a final decision.


Army Prosecutions

The Solicitor-General (Mr. Mike O'Brien): My right hon. Friend the Attorney-General has made the following written ministerial statement.

"In my statement of 14 June 2004, Official Report, columns WS 22–23, I undertook to inform the House by way of written statement when any further charges are laid against British servicemen arising from incidents in Iraq. The Army Prosecuting Authority has directed that seven individuals should stand trial by court martial for various offences. The offences and the names of those individuals are set out below.

The allegations against the servicemen relate to incidents in Basra, from 13 to 15 September 2003. It is alleged that seven servicemen committed a number of offences against Iraqi detainees who had been arrested following a planned operation. One of the detainees, Baha Da'oud Salim Musa, was allegedly killed and inhumanely treated by one of these servicemen. The same serviceman is also alleged to have inhumanely treated other detainees and committed acts tending and intended to pervert the course of justice. It is further alleged that two other servicemen inhumanely treated the internees, who sustained injuries following repeated assaults. One further serviceman is alleged to have assaulted a detainee. The three remaining servicemen are charged with negligently performing their duties or neglecting to perform a duty, contrary to the Army Act 1955.

The cases against all seven servicemen were reviewed by prosecutors of the independent Army Prosecuting Authority who applied the evidential and public interest criteria set out in the code for crown prosecutors. The Army Prosecuting Authority, following advice from highly experienced counsel, is satisfied that there is a realistic prospect of convicting all defendants and that the prosecutions are in the public interest.

These offences have been directed to be tried before a court martial rather than the civilian courts.

The men who have been directed by the Army Prosecuting Authority to stand trial and who have been informed of the charges against them are:

20 Jul 2005 : Column 97WS

Next Section Index Home Page