14 February, 2012

Detainee Inquiry under Sir Peter Gibson scrapped

The government announced the discontinuance of the Detainee Inquiry under the Chairmanship of Sir Peter Gibson - see BBC 19th January 2012.   See also Parliament - Statement on the Detainee Inquiry.

On 18th January, Sir Peter Gibson said:

"The Secretary of State for Justice (the Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP) today announced that, in view of the further immediate Metropolitan Police investigations announced last week into the allegations concerning renditions of two individuals to Libya and their alleged ill-treatment, the Government has decided to conclude the work of the Detainee Inquiry. He has also announced that he has asked for a report to be presented to the Prime Minister summarising the preliminary work done to date by the Inquiry and any issues which it has been able to identify as likely to form the subject of further investigation.

The Inquiry regrets
the fact that we are not able to complete the task we were asked to do by the Prime Minister (as set out in his letter to me of 6 July 2010). However we recognise that it is not practical for the Inquiry to continue for an indefinite period to wait for the conclusion of the police investigations. The Inquiry has, however, already done a large amount of preliminary work, including the collation of many documents from Government departments and the Security and Intelligence Agencies. We welcome therefore the opportunity to bring together the work we have done to date. The Inquiry will therefore produce a report of our work, highlighting themes which might be subject to further examination.

This task now set for us remains an important one: it will ensure that the work we have done is not wasted and we hope that it will materially assist the future inquiry that the Government intends to establish."

This particular inquiry was criticised from the outset by various non-governmental bodies some of which refused to participate in it.  The view of Amnesty was that the inquiry was never fit for purpose - see their website.

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