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Service Prosecutions

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith): Further to the reply of the Lord Drayson on 7 November concerning the consultation with the Law Officers in bringing the case of the seven members and former member of the 3rd battalion the Parachute Regiment, the Law Officers are defined as being the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General who is the Attorney-General's deputy. Under the Law Officers Act 1997 the Solicitor-General can do anything the Attorney-General can do on my behalf or in my place.

The Army Prosecuting Authority took the decision that there should be prosecutions in this case. As three of the accused were no longer serving soldiers it was not possible to prosecute them by court martial without my express consent in accordance with Section 132A of the Army Act 1955. The APA sought my views on the appropriate jurisdiction and my consent to prosecute advising that it considered that there was a realistic prospect of conviction against all the accused on a joint charge of murder and a second charge of violent disorder. I accepted the advice that there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and granted my consent to the prosecution of the three soldiers as required.
 
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Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Drayson: The Army Prosecuting Authority assessed the evidence in this case.

They received no fee but were paid a flat rate allowance of $100 per day by the Military Court Service to cover incidental expenses and home commitments. This amount is broadly in line with the current financial loss allowance payable under Part V of the costs in Criminal Cases (General) Regulations 1986 issued by the Department for Constitutional Affairs.

Television Licensing

Lord Skelmersdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The BBC has responsibility for the administration and enforcement of the television licensing system and TV Licensing carries out the day to day administration and enforcement as agent for the corporation. I have therefore asked the BBC's head of revenue management to consider the question raised by the noble Lord and to write to him direct. Copies of the reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

US: Terrorist Detainees

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Triesman: We are aware of press reports claiming that there are Central Intelligence Agency detention facilities in eastern Europe. We raise a range of issues with the United States on a regular basis.

War Crimes: Investigation

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The investigation of war crimes or crimes against humanity is an operational matter for the police. Responsibility for the actions and decisions taken by the police in the course of their duties rests with the chief officer of the police force concerned.

War Pensions

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Drayson: A war widow's pension may be awarded under the United Kingdom war pensions scheme where the death of a member of the British Armed Forces is due to service. The scheme has only ever applied to members of military units based in the United Kingdom or the Isle of Man. There are no plans to change this policy.

Responsibility for pension provision of military personnel who enlisted and served with locally raised colonial forces is the responsibility of the government of the territory in which they were raised, under arrangements made when they gained their independence.

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Bach): There are no specific data available for convictions secured for offences under Part I of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The only figures available relate to the number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts for offences under the categories of Cruelty to Animals and Wild Bird Protection Acts, which may include offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. These data, which include the results of proceedings, can be found through the following link at www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/commandpubs1.html.

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Bach: There are no specific data available for prosecutions brought for offences under Part I of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The only figures available relate to the number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts for offences under the categories of Cruelty to Animals and Wild Bird Protection Acts, which may include offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. These data can be found through the following link; www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/commandpubs1.html.

Young Adult Offenders

Lord Elton asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The young adult offenders project will be led by the Director of Headquarters Functions within the National Offender Management Service. It will be supported by three staff and will be able to call on resources for workshops and travel as necessary. It is intended to conclude its work in time for the implementation of Custody Plus, which is at present expected to be in September 2006. Its recommendations will be made to Ministers. Any standard or instructions arising from it will be placed in the Library. The following organisations have been invited to sit on a reference group whose views will inform the project: Social Exclusion Unit of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Trust for the Study of Adolescence, the Prince's Trust, the Community Service Volunteers, RAINER Foundation, Barrow Cadbury Trust, NACRO, Prison Reform Trust, Howard League, YMCA.



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