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Michael Binnington and Luke Atkinson

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 15th July 2010.

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Photo of Priti Patel Priti Patel Conservative, Witham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consular assistance his Department provided to (a) Michael Binnington and (b) Luke Atkinson in respect of legal proceedings in Cyprus.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

The role of consular staff when a British national is detained overseas is essentially one of welfare. The Government are not able to interfere with the legal process of another country, nor are we able to give legal advice.

Our consular staff visited Mr Atkinson and Mr Binnington several times during their detention. Both men were given information about local legal systems and processes, together with a list of local Cypriot lawyers. They were advised to pursue their cases through the Cypriot legal system.

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