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18 Mar 2008 : Column 1034W—continued

Rendition

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to present to the US Administration the list of flights of concern in relation to the alleged rendition of suspects by the United States through UK territory, waters or airspace; and if he will make a statement. [191153]

David Miliband: Officials in my Department are currently compiling a list of all the flights where we have been alerted to concerns regarding rendition through the UK or our Overseas Territories. Once this is ready we will be sending this list to the US Government and seeking their assurance that none of these flights were used for rendition purposes. Officials are currently working through the flights where concern has been raised and we are consulting with other relevant Government Departments, Overseas Posts and non-governmental organisations. The list will be presented to the US Government as soon as is consistent with a thorough search of our records.

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many flights of concern have been identified in relation to the alleged rendition of suspects by the United States through UK territory, waters or airspace; and if he will make a statement. [191154]

David Miliband: Officials in my Department are currently compiling a list of all the flights where we have been alerted to concerns regarding rendition through the UK or our Overseas Territories. Once this is ready we will be sending this list to the US Government and seeking their specific assurance that none of these flights were used for rendition purposes. I have also undertaken to publish the list in Parliament.


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Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what safeguards there are to prevent future use of British territory for US extraordinary rendition flights. [193415]

Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made clear in his statement to the House on 21 February 2008, Official Report, columns 547-48, that there has long been a regular exchange with the US authorities, in which we have set out that:

Following the new information provided by the US regarding the two rendition flights via Diego Garcia, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary spoke to the US Secretary of State, Dr. Rice, on 20 February. She underlined the firm US understanding that there will be no rendition through the UK, UK airspace or our Overseas Territories without express British Government permission.

Simon Mann

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he plans to take in the week beginning 17 March to monitor the (a) treatment and (b) risk of torture of Mr. Simon Mann in Black Beach Prison, Equatorial Guinea. [194456]

Meg Munn [holding answer 14 March 2008]: Our consul from the British Deputy high commission in Lagos travelled to Malabo and visited Mr. Mann in prison on 12 February. Consular officials aim to visit Mr. Mann again soon, when they will discuss Mr. Mann's welfare with the authorities in Equatorial Guinea. We will continue to visit Mr. Mann in prison in line with our consular policy.

Sudan: Peacekeeping Operations

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in establishing full operational capability for the UN-African Union force in Darfur; and what assessment he has made of the current capacity of the force to offer protection to civilians in the area. [192246]

David Miliband: The UN-African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) currently has approximately 10,500 personnel. We understand the Egyptian and Ethiopian battalions, and supporting units, will deploy by the end of May, taking UNAMID’s strength up to 16,000. Full operational capability will be achieved when the force commander assesses he has sufficient troops and equipment at his disposal to conduct fully all the tasks described in the concept of operations.

UNAMID is starting to improve security with increased patrols, including firewood patrols that allow internally displaced persons to gather fuel. Delays in
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generating capabilities and difficulties in deploying the mission, including lack of co-operation from the Government of Sudan, have impeded UNAMID’s capacity to widen their area of influence. We are pressing the Government of Sudan and rebel groups to allow UNAMID full access and freedom of movement to improve the protection of civilians.

Uganda: Armed Conflict

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of an approach by the Ugandan government to the UN Security Council to suspend the International Criminal Court warrants for the arrest of leading members of the Lord's Resistance Army. [193723]

Meg Munn: We have received no reports that the Ugandan government has approached the UN Security Council to request suspension of the International Criminal Court (ICC) warrants against the leading members of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). We note that in the peace agreement, the LRA leadership has asked the Ugandan government to request a deferral of the ICC warrants and establish national mechanisms to try those alleged to have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes as an alternative to the ICC. We believe that justice is an essential part of a sustainable peace and it is vital that those responsible for the terrible crimes committed during the conflict in northern Uganda are held to account. It is up to the Ugandan government to convince the ICC that any new national mechanisms are in line with the Rome Statute and are sufficient to allow the ICC to lift the warrants issued for the arrest of LRA leaders.

Yugoslavia: War Crimes

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on progress of the search for (a) Radovan Karadzic and (b) Ratko Mladic in connection with war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. [191983]

David Miliband: The chief responsibility for the detention and arrest of fugitive indictees Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic rests with the governments of Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Their progress in this regard is assessed by the Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

The UK has given consistent support, both practical and political, to the work of ICTY. We remain committed to seeing all four outstanding ICTY indictees, including Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, arrested and brought to trial before the tribunal. The need for full co-operation with ICTY is a message we constantly deliver in the region, particularly to the authorities in Serbia who have a key role to play in this regard.


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Solicitor-General

Attorney-General

Norman Lamb: To ask the Solicitor-General when the Attorney-General's Office intends to publish the results of its consultation on the role of the Attorney-General. [193936]

The Solicitor-General: The Government are considering all responses to the consultation and will publish their conclusions in due course.

Corruption

Norman Lamb: To ask the Solicitor-General how many requests the Attorney-General has received from the Serious Fraud Office for consent on overseas corruption cases in each of the last five years. [193924]

The Solicitor-General: The Attorney-General has received one such request for consent from the Serious Fraud Office for an overseas corruption case during 2007 in the last five years.

Norman Lamb: To ask the Solicitor-General on how many overseas corruption cases being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office the Attorney-General has (a) received briefings and (b) given advice. [193934]

The Solicitor-General: The information is as follows:

(a) The Attorney-General regularly receives briefings from the Director of the Serious Fraud Office on overseas corruption cases under investigation. The Director also regularly attends meetings with the Attorney-General where all overseas corruption cases are discussed, including those which may require the Attorney General's consent before prosecution.

(b) The Attorney-General has not given advice to the Director in any case.

NatWest: Enron

Mr. Meacher: To ask the Solicitor-General what the reasons were for the decision not to prosecute the NatWest Three in the UK. [195188]

The Solicitor-General: In serious fraud cases it is common for allegedly criminal conduct to occur in more than one country. In such cases inevitably proceedings are commenced in one country rather than the other. In this case, investigations had begun in the USA and there had been no complaint by anyone in this country.

When the Serious Fraud Office came to consider whether to investigate, it decided not to do so because the main evidence was in the USA (the co-conspirators); the conspiracy took place there; the alleged fraud could not have occurred without the complicity of the Enron executives; the American case was advanced and it was in the overall interests of justice for it to be dealt with by one court.


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Defence

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether a rebalancing of responsibility between ISAF and the Afghan national security forces in respect of leadership and primacy in the security field is planned during the course of 2008; and if he will make a statement. [194182]

Des Browne [holding answer 14 March 2008]: The long-term goal of the NATO-led ISAF mission is to hand over responsibility for security of the country to the Government of Afghanistan and Afghan security forces.

There are plans to rebalance responsibility for the provision of security between ISAF and the Afghan National Security Forces during the course of 2008; however, I am withholding the details of these plans as their release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will hold discussions with his French counterpart on increasing France’s military deployment to Afghanistan. [194195]

Des Browne: The forthcoming UK/France summit on 27 March, offers the next opportunity for discussion of Afghanistan, as well as other bilateral issues.

Afghanistan: Politics and Government

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans there are for an international conference to review progress in the implementation of the Afghanistan Compact; and if he will make a statement. [194181]

Des Browne [holding answer 14 March 2008]: The forthcoming Paris conference in June is likely to include opportunities to review progress in the implementation of the Afghanistan Compact and reaffirm international and Afghan Government commitment to the compact.

Armed Forces

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to place in the Library responses to the Defence Internal Brief of 11 March 2008—Views invited for the Service Personnel Command Paper—either in full or redacted to protect individuals' confidentiality. [194447]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 14 March 2008]: It is our intention to publish a summary of all the contributions received during the consultation process alongside the Service Personnel Command Paper itself.

Armed Forces: Colchester

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what percentage of (a) single living accommodation and (b) service family accommodation units in (i) Colchester and (ii) Aldershot are in each standard for condition grade. [190641]


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Derek Twigg: Where Service Families Accommodation (SFA) in Great Britain is assessed by Standard for Condition (SfC), a measure of the physical condition of a property, Single Living Accommodation (SLA) is assessed by Grade for Charge (GfC), an assessment of the physical condition
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of the accommodation and other factors such as location and proximity to amenities.

The number and percentage of accommodation at Colchester and Aldershot at each SfC or GfC is as follows:

Colchester Aldershot
Number Percentage Number Percentage

SFA

S1fC

657

59

1,103

66

S2fC

434

39

571

34

S3fC

22

2

5

<0

S4fC

0

0

0

0

SLA

Grade 1

1,767

65

421

15

Grade 2

0

0

0

0

Grade 3

0

0

0

0

Grade 4

881

35

2,357

85


Significant work is taking place to improve SLA at Aldershot and Colchester. Aldershot Garrison is included as part of Project Allenby Connaught which will improve living conditions for thousands of soldiers around the Salisbury Plain Training Area and Aldershot. This will include the delivery of 2,600 new or improved SLA bed-spaces to G1fC at Aldershot by 2015.

In Colchester, some 811 G1fC SLA bed-spaces will be delivered by June this year with plans to upgrade some 142 SFA properties to S1fC by 2011.


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