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Compensation payments fund terrorist groups.

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Compensation payments fund terrorist groups.

Post  Panda on Wed 13 Feb 2013, 8:53 am

Ken Clarke: Compensation payments fund terrorist groups

Compensation paid to terror suspects by the British government has ended up
in the hands of terrorist groups, Kenneth Clarke has said.

Ken Clarke, the former Justice
Secretary Photo:

By James Kirkup

6:39PM GMT 12 Feb 2013

The minister told a Parliamentary committee that it would be “naïve” to think
that money given to people who claim to have been mistreated by British security
forces has not helped fund extremist causes.

Mr Clarke was explaining Government plans to change the law to allow some
terrorist cases to be held in secret.

Mr Clarke told the Joint Committee on Human Rights the government’s changes
are needed to allow judges to hear sensitive the evidence against some of the
suspects who allege mistreatment by the State.

MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service, has been successfully sued for damages
by several people it considers to be terrorists, but who have never been

Mr Clarke said that such cases only arise because the intelligence against
suspects cannot be disclosed in open court without jeopardising confidential

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Disclosure of intelligence material could also risk intelligence-sharing
deals with allies like the US, the Coalition has said.

Some Conservative and Liberal Democrat backbenchers have said they object to
the very principle of secret hearings, which they say are contrary to basic
civil liberties.

Mr Clarke insisted that holding so-called “closed material proceedings” would
ensure that terror cases are properly handled and mean compensation payments are
not needed.

“At the moment, we pay out millions of pounds. It is arguable that quite a
lot of these people would not have got those damages if the defence had been
called against them,” he said.

He added: “We don’t know where the money goes. You are completely naïve if
you don’t think that some of that money has possibly made its way to a terrorist

Mr Clarke, the minister without portfolio, insisted that criticism that his
secret courts would be unfair were misguided because the current system itself
is unfair.

“You can’t say it has been fair justice because there hasn’t been any
justice” because judges have not heard all the evidence against suspects, he
said. “That’s why we are moving in this difficult area.”

Mr Clarke also mounted a strong attack on the critics of his plans, accusing
them of “legalistic hair-splitting” and preferring silence to justice.

The only alternative to secret hearings is the current system of Public
Interest Immunity (PII) certificates, under which a judge is asked to exclude
from a case altogether evidence which might damage national security.

If a PII is refused, it can result in the authorities conceding defeat and
paying out compensation rather than revealing secrets, he said.

“Those who oppose my Bill prefer silence - that the evidence is never taken
into consideration. You just pay out and the plaintiff gets his money,” said Mr

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