Torture inquiry to be scrapped
The long-awaited inquiry into British complicity in torture is to be scrapped following the launch of fresh criminal investigations into claims of ill-treatment in Libya, the Justice Secretary has said.
Kenneth Clarke said there "now appears no prospect of the Gibson Inquiry being able to start in the foreseeable future".
The inquiry's work will be brought "to a conclusion" but the Government still intends to hold "an independent, judge-led inquiry once all police investigations have concluded", Mr Clarke told MPs.
Mr Clarke said: "We remain committed to drawing a line under these issues. However, these further investigations may take some considerable time to conclude. The Government fully intends to hold a judge-led inquiry into these issues once it is possible to do so and all related police investigations have been concluded.
"But there now appears no prospect of the Gibson Inquiry being able to start in the foreseeable future. So, following consultation with Sir Peter Gibson, the inquiry chair, we have decided to bring the work of this inquiry to a conclusion."
Mr Clarke said it would have been unfair to the inquiry team to continue keeping it on hold for an "as yet unknown period of time" while the Libyan investigations were carried out.
Scotland Yard took three years looking into the cases of Guantanamo Bay detainees, he said.
Mr Clarke added that any new inquiry "may require a fresh group of people to carry it out".
The detainee inquiry had already been widely criticised for lacking "credibility or transparency", with human rights groups and lawyers for detainees refusing to take part.
Campaigners, who are angry at the limits on the inquiry's powers and the fact that the final decision on whether material can be made public rested with the Government, also claimed the police investigation was being "hobbled" by political pressure for a "sham" inquiry.