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Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his statement of 26 February 2009, whether officials in his Department had been informed in 2004 of the transfer of detainees to which he referred. (260501)

There is evidence that a piece of related correspondence from another Government Department was copied to an MOD official on 7 October 2004, some months after the transfer had taken place, although detailed searches have not found this document within MOD records and the individual in question has no recollection of it. I am satisfied that those officials within my Department who advised Ministers on these issues were unaware of the case and that they acted in good faith at all times.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when officials in his Department first became aware that the answer given to the hon. Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr of 7 February 2006, Official Report, column 1083W, on extraordinary rendition, was inaccurate. (260518)

The case of the two detainees transferred from Iraq to Afghanistan by the US outlined in my statement of 26 February, was brought to my attention on 1 December 2008, during the final stages of an MOD review of records of detentions. I directed that MOD officials conduct follow-up work to establish the facts and in doing so it became clear to them that inaccurate answers had been given to earlier questions in the House. This led to my statement on 26 February 2009.