Mr. Tariq Aziz is being held by the United States. It is the policy of multinational force partners not to disclose the precise location of detainees for security reasons. It is for the US and Iraqi authorities to determine when Mr. Aziz should be handed over to the Iraqi authorities and for the Iraqi authorities to determine the legal procedures that should apply. In December 2003, the then Iraqi governing council established a special tribunal to try senior members of the former regime.
We are part of the coalition, are we not? Will the response to the International Red Cross be the proverbial "Get lost", when it says that, under international law, those people, included Tariq Aziz, should be charged before
We in the British Government subscribe fully to and follow fully our obligations under international law. That has been the case throughout the Iraqi conflict as well as in the past.
As for the position of Mr. Aziz and other detainees, I should say to my hon. Friend that just before I left the Foreign Office to come here, I saw an item on the BBC website. Although I have had no separate confirmation of this, it says:
If that is to happen, it will be widely welcomed in the House. It is a matter on which I know the Iraqis and the United States are working.
Given that the right hon. Gentleman and the Government have a principled opposition to the death penalty and given that Britain, as part of the coalition provisional authority, will shortly hand over Saddam Hussein for trial, can the right hon. Gentleman say what representations, if any, he has made to ensure that the future Iraqi authorities do not put Saddam Hussein to death? Or does he wash his hands of the matter?
We have made strong representations to the Iraqis about our position in respect of the death penalty. We were successful during the period of the Iraq governing council in persuading it to suspend the death penalty. It is known that Iraqi Ministers have said that they will support the re-establishment of the death penalty from