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Mr. John Heppell (Nottingham, East): I beg to ask leave to withdraw the motion.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.


Ian Stillman

10 pm

Hugh Bayley (City of York): As I rise to present a petition calling for the release of Ian Stillman from prison in India, I notice in the Chamber my hon. Friend the Member for Reading, East (Jane Griffiths) and the hon. Member for Romsey (Sandra Gidley), who have played a prominent part in pressing for his release. I pay tribute to my hon. Friends the Members for Leeds, North-East (Mr. Hamilton) and for Reading, West (Mr. Salter), who have also taken up the case of Mr. Stillman.

The petition is addressed to the House of Commons and comes from readers of the Yorkshire Evening Press, which ran a campaign pressing for Ian Stillman's release. It notes that Ian Stillman is an inspirational aid worker who has given 27 years of his life to working with the deaf of India. It declares that he has been wrongfully imprisoned in India, and expresses concern that no provision was made for his own profound deafness at his trial—a fundamental abuse of his human rights. It also expresses great concern about his health and the fact that he has been denied appropriate treatment while in prison.

The petition is signed by Liz Page, editor of the Evening Press, Monica Stillman, my constituent and Ian Stillman's mother, Roy Stillman, my constituent and Ian Stillman's father, and a further 5,474 people from York and surrounding areas.

The petition states:

To lie upon the Table.

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Carlisle United

10.2 pm

Mr. Eric Martlew (Carlisle): I rise to present a petition signed by 14,991 supporters of Carlisle United football club. The petition was drawn up because the owner of Carlisle United declared that he was to withdraw the club from the football league. Since that statement has been made, however, it appears that there could be a change of ownership of Carlisle United—and we hope for that.

The petition states:

To lie upon the Table.

Manslaughter (Sentencing)

10.3 pm

Linda Gilroy (Plymouth, Sutton): I have the petition of Mrs. Pat Cager and some 4,451 others. It states:

To lie upon the Table.

Pensioners (Free Travel)

10.5 pm

Mr. Lindsay Hoyle (Chorley): In presenting this petition to the House, let me give its background. The people of Chorley and old-age pensioners in my constituency, and people in other constituencies whose pensioners suffer the same fate as those of Chorley, feel disadvantaged by comparison with pensioners in London, Wales and other places where there is free travel for old-age pensioners. That should not be, which is why I bring this petition to the House.

My hon. Friends the Members for Morecambe and Lunesdale (Geraldine Smith) and for Bolton, North-East (Mr. Crausby) also support the petition. In common with hon. Members on both sides of the House, they have campaigned strongly in support of the petition's aim of ensuring a level playing field for all old-age pensioners.

23 Jul 2002 : Column 955

The petition states:

To lie upon the Table.

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Lockerbie Disaster

Motion made, and Question proposed, That this House do now adjourn.—[Mr. Kemp.]

10.6 pm

Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow): May I start my 17th Adjournment debate on the appalling crime that was Lockerbie with a personal word of explanation? Alongside some British relatives dedicated to truth and justice, and other people, not least Nelson Mandela, I helped to persuade the Libyans to surrender Mr. Fhimah and Mr. Megrahi for a trial under the Scottish judicial system in a third country. In good faith, we believed and hoped that the trial at Zeist would be satisfactory and convincing. Alas, it was not.

For an adversarial system of justice to arrive at the truth requires both of the adversaries to place before the court all information available to them. In the Lockerbie trial, the defence team of Abdel Bassett al Megrahi chose not to do so. In such circumstances, the adversarial system does not work if we want to arrive at the truth. I therefore ask the following questions.

Does the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have any knowledge of an $11 million payment having been received by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine—General Command on or about 23 December 1988, evidenced by a credit to a bank in Lausanne, and moved from there to an account at the Banque Nationale de Paris, and thence to the Hungarian development bank?

Or does it have knowledge of a payment of $500,000 made on or about 25 April 1989 to the Degussa bank of Frankfurt and Mohammed Abu Talb, a convicted murderer, incriminee of the Lockerbie trial and a long-term suspect in the Pan-Am 103 bombing?

Secondly, if the Security Service had any knowledge of either payment, did it communicate that knowledge, in whole or in part, to any police force in the United Kingdom and/or to the Crown Office in Edinburgh? If such knowledge was imparted, when was it imparted?

Thirdly, did the intelligence services discover the identity of "Abu Elias", which is believed to be the nom de guerre of the person who, according to the Goben memorandum, conspired to place a bomb aboard a plane in Frankfurt on 21 December 1988, and who, according to Marwan Khreesat, was part of the Autumn Leaves conspiracy uncovered in Germany in October 1988? If so, what is believed to be the name of that individual, and were his movements between October and December 1988 detected?

Fourthly, when Mr. Alan Turnbull and Mr. Norman McFadyen went to the US embassy in The Hague on the Lord Advocate's behalf on or about 1 June 2000 to view unredacted CIA cables—recording meetings with the prosecution witness, Jiacha—was an assurance or undertaking, whether written or verbal, given by them to British intelligence or to the US authorities that they would not disclose what they had been shown?

Fifthly, on what date did the Crown witness, Mohammed Abu Talb, arrive at Zeist, and on what date did he depart? During the period he was incarcerated at Zeist prison, was he visited by Crown-listed witness Jamilla Mougrabi, his former wife, or any representatives of the prosecution, or the US Department of Justice?

23 Jul 2002 : Column 957

If so, who authorised such visits, when were they made and what was their approximate duration? What was the purpose of any such visits, by either the prosecution or the US Department of Justice, and was there any record in audio, video or in writing of them?

Sixthly, was the Crown witness Jiacha interviewed by, or did he meet, any representatives of the prosecution or the US Department of Justice, outwith the witness box during the period when he was a sworn witness? If so, who authorised such meetings or interviews, when and where did they take place, and who was present?

Seventhly, did the UK know of any inducements or undertakings given to Crown witness Mohammed Abu Talb to encourage him to give evidence for the Crown at the Zeist trial? If so, what is that knowledge?

Eighthly, was Crown witness Tony Gauchi, the Maltese shopkeeper, taken to the USA or to the UK at any time before he gave evidence at the Zeist trial? If so, when did such visits take place, who instigated them and what was their purpose?

I believe that there has been a catastrophic miscarriage of justice and that an innocent man is in Barlinnie tonight and every night for more than 19 years.

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