UK to pay millions to ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees over torture claims

London, Nov 16 (ANI): Britain would reportedly pay out millions of pounds in compensation to former detainees held in the US military prison at Guant namo Bay.

Some of the men, who are all British citizens or residents, were detained at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba. At least six of them alleged UK forces were complicit in their torture before they arrived at Guantanamo, the BBC reports.

A ministerial statement on the out-of-court settlement is due to be made in the House of Commons later on Tuesday. It is believed the government wanted to avoid a lengthy and costly court case, which would also have put the British secret intelligence services under the spotlight.

The terms of the settlement could also remain confidential, something wanted by both the men and ministers. But the Intelligence and Security Committee and the National Audit Office would be briefed about the payments, the report said.

Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil el Banna, Richard Belmar, Omar Deghayes, Binyam Mohamed and Martin Mubanga were among those who had begun High Court cases against the government.

In May, the Court of Appeal ruled that the government was unable to rely on "secret evidence" to defend itself against the six cases. In July, the High Court ordered the release of some of the 500,000 documents relating to the case.

The government would now be able to move forward with plans for an inquiry, led by Sir Peter Gibson, into claims that UK security services were complicit in the torture of terror suspects, the report added.

The office of Prime Minister David Cameron said a written statement would be made to parliament later on Tuesday.

The Cabinet Office said: "The prime minister set out clearly in his statement to the House (of Commons) on July 6 that we need to deal with the totally unsatisfactory situation where for 'the past few years, the reputation of our security services has been overshadowed by allegations about their involvement in the treatment of detainees held by other countries'."

The UK security services have always denied any claims that they have used or condoned the use of torture. Last month, the head of MI6, Sir John Sawers described torture as "illegal and abhorrent" and defended the service's need for secrecy. (ANI)

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