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Diego Garcia: Rendition

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 10 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1787W, on rendition: Diego Garcia, whether his Department has carried out a records search for the purposes of determining whether UK territory or airspace had actually been used for the purposes of rendition. (241659)

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given by the then Foreign Secretary, my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) on 12 December 2005, Official Report, column 1652W.

Since 2005, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has conducted a number of thorough reviews of our files on rendition. Prior to 2008, given that we had firm assurances from the US that they had not and would not use our territory or airspace for rendition without our permission, these reviews focussed on the question of whether requests for rendition had been made. But, given the thoroughness of these reviews, had they revealed any instances where rendition had occurred, we would have informed Parliament.

However, following the new information received from the US this year that, contrary to previous assurances, there had been two instances of rendition through Diego Garcia in 2002, we conducted a further review of records to compile a list of flights where we had been alerted to concerns regarding rendition and ascertain whether we had any evidence that UK territory may have been used for renditions. This included looking back at the process and findings of the previous reviews. No such information was discovered.