My Lords, we consult regularly with the United States and other coalition countries both within the CPA and directly between our capitals on a wide variety of issues concerning Iraq, including detainees and future judicial proceedings against them.
Saddam Hussein is being held by the United States in a secure location. The US announced, when Saddam Hussein was captured, that he has the status of a prisoner of war under the third Geneva Convention. The Iraqi authorities envisage bringing Saddam Hussein to trial before the Iraqi Special Tribunal. The US and Iraqi authorities are in discussion about the handover of Saddam Hussein and other detainees.
My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for that reply. Saddam Hussein has been in custody for something like half a year. He is, I think, a prisoner of the coalition rather than just of the United States. We understand that US intelligence personnel have had access to him. God knows what they have learnt: perhaps that there never were any weapons of mass destruction. Can the Minister tell us what access to him has been given to British security services?
My Lords, what assurances, if any, have been given by the authorities in Iraq, a country where normally capital punishment is applied in cases of this kind? Further, what assurances have been given that capital punishment will not be applied in this case, however heinous the alleged behaviour of the person concerned may have been?
My Lords, my noble friend is well aware that the UK opposes the death penalty as a matter of principle. We note that the Iraqi justice Minister, Malik Dohan al-Hassan, has said that he would like to see the reintroduction of the death penalty. If the interim Iraqi Government reintroduce the death penalty, we will lobby them to abolish it, as we do with all retentionist states.
My Lords, does the noble Baroness recognise that as Britain is part of the Coalition Provisional Authority, we have some standing regarding the future of Saddam Hussein? Are we happy for the decision on what happens to him to be left purely to the Iraqi Government after
My Lords, I reiterate that it is for the United States and the Iraqi authorities to determine when he should be handed over.
My Lords, it appears that there is some difference of view between Mr Iyad Allawi and the Iraqi Government designate on the one hand and the Coalition Provisional Authority on the other as to whether he should be handed over by
My Lords, there is no difference between what the Iraqi Prime Minister and the US President are saying on handing over Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi Prime Minister has confirmed that criminal proceedings will be brought against Saddam Hussein and President Bush has confirmed that the US will pass Saddam Hussein to the Iraqi authorities to face criminal prosecution. We believe, speaking for our own UK prisoners of war, that in accordance with the third Geneva Convention, the obligation to release and repatriate prisoners of war arises with the end of active hostilities, which we believe will be
My Lords, will there be a new criminal code and a new criminal process in position on