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15 July 2009 : Column 449Wcontinued
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many offences were committed by offenders recalled from release on licence but not yet returned to custody in each of the last 12 years; and what offences were committed in such circumstances in each such year. 
The number of offences committed by offenders who have been recalled to prison and who have yet to be apprehended is not recorded centrally. To
provide this information would require a manual interrogation of individual files and this would incur disproportionate cost.
Between 1 January 1999 and 30 June 2008, 81,743 offenders were recalled to custody.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what percentage of people convicted of selling tobacco to a minor received (a) a fine, (b) a community sentence, (c) a custodial sentence and (d) an alternative punishment in each year since 1997; and what the (i) average, (ii) smallest and (iii) largest fine was in each such year. 
Claire Ward: The available information is shown in the following table. Data for 2008 will not be available until "Sentencing Statistics 2008" is published later in the year.
|Offenders sentenced and disposals for selling tobacco to a minor and the average maximum and minimum fine, 1997 to 2007|
1. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems.
2. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
OMS Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice.
The table shows the total number of persons sentenced to a fine, community sentence, custodial sentence or an alternative punishment for each year since 1997. The data also show the average maximum and minimum fine imposed on those sentenced for selling tobacco to a minor in each year. These data are presented on the principal offence basis. Where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence, the principal offence is the one for which the heaviest sentence was imposed. Where the same sentence has been imposed for two or more offences, the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 March 2009, Official Report, columns 20-21W, on Belarus: human rights, what reports he has received of the death sentence passed in Belarus on 29 June 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
The EU raised this case with the Belarusian authorities on 8 July 2009. We are disappointed that the death penalty was imposed following earlier efforts by
the Belarusian authorities to reduce its use. Belarus is the last country in Europe to use the death penalty; its abolition would be an important step in improving EU-Belarus relations. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution on 23 June 2009 supporting the lifting of the suspension of Belarus' special guest status after a moratorium on the execution of death penalties.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 30 March 2009, Official Report, columns 40-42WS, on Colombia, on what projects the £250,000 which has been allocated to tackle impunity will be spent; and how much will be allocated to each such project. 
Chris Bryant: Tackling impunity in Colombia is a priority for our embassy in Bogota, and over £250,000 will be spent over the next two years on the following projects:
investigating forced disappearances (£13,000)
identifying victims of forced disappearance (£39,000)
strengthening access to justice for internally displaced persons (£21,000)
Impunity in the Context of Conflict project (£60,000)
a UN Tackling Impunity project (£210,000)
adjustment proposals for the new Accusatorial Criminal Justice System (£29,000)
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress the Government have made in their assessment of whether to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The work being undertaken within Government to examine the potential impact of the Convention against Enforced Disappearance on the law of the UK is ongoing.
This includes analysing the extent to which common law provisions may need to be replicated in statute law, the creation of one or more new criminal offences, and whether the UK required any reservations or declarations upon ratification. It is now clear that primary legislation would be necessary to permit ratification if the Government decide to pursue this course of action. This would be introduced when parliamentary time allowed.
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