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Us Contacts With Iraqi Opposition In Uk

Volume 597: debated on Wednesday 10 February 1999

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the United States are exempt from the operation of the Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Act 1998 which forbids any activity in this country aimed at the toppling by violent means of governments abroad; and, if not, whether United States officials have been conducting such activities here with some Iraqi opposition groups. [HL785]

Sections 5–7 of the Criminal Justice (Terrorism and Conspiracy) Act 1998 make it a criminal offence to conspire in this country to commit crimes abroad, providing that the crime in question is a criminal offence in both jurisdictions. Section 5(12) provides that it is immaterial to guilt whether or not the accused is a British citizen.

We are aware that US officials regularly meet members of the Iraqi opposition in this country. Her Majesty's Government have no evidence that any criminal offence has been committed.