Osama bin Laden — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:12 pm on 3rd May 2011.

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Photo of Lord Strathclyde Lord Strathclyde Leader of the House of Lords and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 4:12 pm, 3rd May 2011

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Thomas of Swynnerton, raises an entirely legitimate question which many people will ask, particularly on the precedent for this. My view is that this was a brilliantly planned and executed operation and my understanding at this stage-no doubt we will get more information-is that there was an opportunity to surrender. It is not always possible to capture people alive. Notwithstanding that, there is of course the whole question of jurisdiction, a place of trial, et cetera. In the event, what the noble Lord suggested is not what happened and we have to live in the world as we find it. No doubt there will be questions of legality for the United States, but those are between the Pakistani authorities and the United States and I am not in a position to comment.