UK Wants To Try Terror Suspect Citizens

July 7, 2008 - 8:10 PM

London (CNSNews.com) - U.K. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Thursday that three British terrorist suspects currently being held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay should face trial in their home country.

The statement marks a change in opinion by the U.K. government, which previously said the U.S. government had the sole right to decide how to bring the terror suspects to justice.

"It is far preferable if they are British citizens for them to come to the U.K. and face justice here," Straw told BBC radio.

Authorities have named 22-year-old Feroz Abbasi, of the south London suburb of Croydon, as one of three Britons in U.S. custody in Cuba. Two other suspects have not been identified.

Straw emphasized that he was unaware of what legal action might be taken against the three men.

"I do not know the exact circumstances and we continue to be in discussion with the United States," he said.

A British team who visited the camp last weekend said the prisoners were in good health and had no complaints. But U.K. officials are worried that the men could face the death penalty, which is outlawed in European countries.

Earlier this week, a Foreign Office minister said Britain would staunchly oppose the use of capital punishment against U.K citizens.

"The British government regularly, in cases where the death penalty may be imposed on British citizens, makes our views on the death penalty very plain to the American authorities," minister Ben Bradshaw said.

Danish, Swedish Suspects

The international scope of the al Qaeda terror ring broadened further Thursday, when it was confirmed that a Swedish and a Danish national were also among the captives at Guantanamo Bay.

Swedish officials said the country's Washington embassy had requested permission to visit the captive Swede as soon as possible. Minister for Foreign Affairs Anna Lindh said she expected the prisoner was being treated humanely.

"Terrorism calls for extraordinary measures. However, humanitarian law and human rights have been written for application in extraordinary circumstances also," Lindh said in a statement. "It is absolutely necessary that the fight against terrorism is carried on with full respect for international law and human rights."

E-mail a news tip to Mike Wendling.

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