Outrage over 30m pounds torture money payouts to Guantanamo inmates

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

LONDON - Britain’s move to pay millions of pounds to 16 terror suspects has provoked a public uproar, with relatives of those killed in the 7/7 London attacks saying that the settlement was a sickening taint to the memories of the victims.

Up to one million pound has been reportedly handed to each of the former Guantanamo Bay detainees including Binyam Mohamed, who alleges MI5 and MI6 agents fed questions to his interrogators. Another recipient is Shaker Aamer, a former British resident who is still being held in the U.S. detention camp in Cuba.

The outrage grew when it emerged that full details of the compensation deal, which could total up to 30 million pounds would be kept secret.

The Daily Mail quoted MPs as saying that the deal to silence men who claim to have been tortured with the help of British spies was “money for old rope and had given comfort to enemies”.

“The world must have gone mad when people making baseless allegations of torture are getting more than victims of terrorism receive in compensation,” Labour MP Ian Austin, said.

Meanwhile in a statement to the House of Commons, the Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke defended the payouts, saying the alternative was a prolong and extremely expensive legal case. The cost of continuing to fight a legal action by the men could have reached 50 million pounds over five years. He claimed the deals included no admissions of culpability.

However, Tory MP Patrick Mercer, former chairman of the Counter Terror sub-Committee, said the payouts would provide ammunition to Britain’s enemies.

‘If you look on Islamic websites you will see they are crowing already’, claiming the Government has admitted ‘we were involved in torture and illegal deportation’.

“But while we’re not saying that, we’re prepared to pay very large sums of money that is tantamount to an admission of guilt. This has inevitably given some comfort to our enemies,” he added. (ANI)

will not be displayed