UK minister says 'compensation payments to suspected extremists funding terror groups'

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 13, 2013 10:40 hrs

Compensation paid to terror suspects by the UK authorities ended up in the hands of terrorist groups, a British lawmaker has said.

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke told a Parliamentary committee that it would be "naive" to think that money given to people who claim to have been mistreated by British security forces has not helped fund extremist causes.

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, the Telegraph reports.

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

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

According to the paper, some Conservative and Liberal Democrats have said they object to the very principle of secret hearings, which they say are contrary to basic civil liberties.

Clarke, however, insisted that holding so-called "closed material proceedings" would ensure that terror cases are properly handled and mean compensation payments are not needed, the paper said.

According to the paper, the minister also mounted a strong attack on the critics of his plans, accusing them of "legalistic hair-splitting" and preferring silence to justice. (ANI)

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