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Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what measures are being taken to help people residing in the United Kingdom reclaim properties in Ethiopia that were confiscated between 1977 and 1991 under the Derg regime of Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: Compensation for claims registered against the Derg regime was managed by the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance, which dealt directly with the individual claimants through the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office did not espouse these claims, but we did assist claimants with finding local lawyers to prepare and submit their claims. As far as we are aware the deadline for submitting claims expired in June 2001.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of EU secondary legislation has been passed under first round reading agreements between the European Parliament and Council in each year since such fast track procedures came into operation. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
Since the entry into force of the treaty of Amsterdam on 1 May 1999, when the more streamlined co-decision procedure came into operation, the following proportion of legislation was concluded at first reading. From 1 May 1999 to 31 December 2000, of 82 co-decision matters, 19.5 per cent.16 cases, were concluded at first reading. In 2001, of 78 co-decision matters, 29.5 per cent.23 cases, were concluded at first reading. In 2002, of 79 co-decision matters, 25.3 per cent.20 cases, were concluded at first reading. In 2003, of 104 co-decision matters, 36.5 per cent.38 cases, were concluded at first reading. In 2004, of 85 co-decision matters, 60.0 per cent.51 cases, were concluded at first reading. From 1 January 2005 to 30 June 2005, of 39 co-decision matters, 56.4 per cent.22 cases were concluded at first reading.
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Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when the EU expects to make a decision on the approach it will take to participating in the EU-ASEAN meetings in July 2006, chaired by Burma. 
Ian Pearson: Burma announced on 26 July that it would not be taking over the Chair of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2006. Burma will not therefore be chairing any EU/ASEAN meetings in July 2006.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the progress of the US in bringing the suspected terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay to trial. 
Ian Pearson: We are helping the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to develop the capacity to tackle e-mail fraud as well as other forms of financial crime. The Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act was passed in 1995. The Nigerian Government have proposed draft legislation to strengthen the law and make it easier to catch and prosecute fraudsters, including through increased monitoring of email traffic in cybercafes and telecommunications companies.
We regularly raise the issue of financial crime with the Nigerian authorities and will continue to do so. It was discussed at the UK/Nigeria ministerial bilateral forum on judicial co-operation, attended by the then Nigerian Attorney-General, in May 2005.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has extended his congratulations to the newly elected (a) Prime Minister and (b) President of Poland. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander [pursuant to the reply, 10 November 2005, Official Report, c. 747W]: It was my right hon. Friend, the Foreign Secretary, and not I, who congratulated the new Polish Foreign Minister.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) support and
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(b) financial assistance has been given to families of British victims of the Sharm el-Sheikh terrorist bombing; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The British Embassy set up an emergency response team in Cairo and an office in Sharm el-Sheikh. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) also sent a Rapid Deployment Team comprising Consular Officers, Red Cross Support Personnel and a medical team from International SOS to provide support to victims and families in Egypt. Special Branch and anti-terrorist police officers were also deployed with the team. Police Family Liaison Officers were attached to each bereaved family in the UK.
The 7 July Assistance Centre has agreed to help anyone affected by the Egypt bombings who approaches them. The Assistance Centre provides a co-ordinated response for those requiring advice as well as a sophisticated sign-posting and advice service, providing details of relevant counselling services/organisations. They will either deal with inquiries by telephone, or make an appointment to meet people to talk through their needs and concerns.
The Law Society has agreed to extend their pro-bono legal service to those affected by the Egypt bombings. In addition, free financial advice is available from a group of companies led by Origen Financial Services.
The FCO Aftercare Plan for victims of acts of terrorism overseas (Aftercare Plan) was activated immediately. The Aftercare Plan has paid for two members of each family who wished to travel to Sharm el-Sheikh to do so and for their accommodation while in Egypt. It paid for the medical repatriation of two victims and for the personal belongings of the injured and deceased to be returned. It also paid for the repatriation of the bodies of the three people who had not taken out an insurance policy. Death certificates will also be paid for.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many families of British victims of the bombing in Sharm el-Sheikh were assisted by his Department to visit Egypt. 
Dr. Howells: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has paid for members of five of the eight families to travel to Sharm el-Sheikh. We will assist the other families should they wish to travel and when they are ready to do so.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the Government's policy on the disapplication of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in St. Helena. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
The English Law (Application) Ordinance provides for the law of England to be applied in St. Helena provided it is not inconsistent with a local law and is appropriate to local
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circumstances. There is provision in the Ordinance for specific English laws to be declared to be inappropriate to local circumstances.
That provision was used to declare that the Freedom of Information Act 2000 was inappropriate to local circumstances because the Governor in Council considered the provisions in that Act to be incapable of effective application in the context of the financial and human resources available in the Territory.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will require information held by the government of St. Helena in respect of the proposed airport on the island to be eligible for release under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply in St. Helena. The Government are therefore unable to require information, in respect of the proposed airport on the island, which is held by the Government of St. Helena to be eligible for release under the Act.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reasons publicly funded legal representation has not been made available to islanders on St. Helena who are opposed to the building of an airport on the island. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: There are no lawyers in private practice in St. Helena, however, the Public Solicitor is required to provide independent legal advice to members of the public. Such advice is provided either free of charge, or subject to contribution under the St. Helena Legal Aid and Advice Ordinance. The Public Solicitor is funded by the Department for International Development.
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