Murder Trials: British Nationals Abroad

Oral Answers to Questions — Foreign and Commonwealth Office – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 22nd July 2014.

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Photo of Steve Rotheram Steve Rotheram Labour, Liverpool, Walton 11:30 am, 22nd July 2014

What steps he is taking to support families attending murder trials of British nationals abroad.

Photo of Mark Simmonds Mark Simmonds The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We provide a high level of support to families whose loved ones are murdered or on trial abroad, alongside UK police and specialist non-governmental organisations which we part-fund. Support can include providing additional information about local lawyers, accompanying families to meetings and attending trials at key points. We are currently reviewing what additional support is possible and consulting widely on the matter.

Photo of Steve Rotheram Steve Rotheram Labour, Liverpool, Walton

Will the Minister look again at what financial assistance the Government can provide to parents of those murdered abroad, specifically including interest-free loans so that families of victims can attend trials on foreign soil and see for themselves that justice is done?

Photo of Mark Simmonds Mark Simmonds The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

I am well aware that the hon. Gentleman has a particularly sensitive case in his constituency, but I can assure him that we look at the individual circumstances of every case and an assessment is made of vulnerability. We use NGOs such as Missing Abroad, which can help secure free or cheap flights. Also, we use NGOs to provide video conferencing facilities to enable loved ones to watch the proceedings that take place. I hope he has been contacted about the consultation. We are looking at what more we can do to help the families.