14. Supplementary memorandum submitted
by the Secretary of State for the Home Department
I am grateful to you for giving me the opportunity
to appear before your Committee on 21 March to give evidence to
your inquiry into terrorism detention powers.
In responding to a question from Richard Spring,
I said I would write about his understanding that we would be
happy to use intercept provided by foreign intelligence agencies
as evidence. The statutory prohibition on the use of intercept
as evidence only applies to UK warranted interception, not to
intercept product obtained by other jurisdictions. The reasons
which I have given about the difficulties in using domestic intercept
product as evidence clearly do not apply to foreign product.
You may be interested to know that we are aware
of only very rare instances of other jurisdictions using the product
of their intelligence agency (as opposed to law enforcement) interception
as evidence in courts. Any such product provided by those jurisdictions
to the UK is likely to come with strict conditions and restrictions
about its use and handling by our own agencies.
In answer to a question from David Winnick I
said that I could not recall whether any Muslim organisation has
specifically lobbied me in favour of the proposal to extend the
maximum pre-charge detention period in terrorism cases to 90 days.
I have subsequently checked and can confirm that there has been
no such lobbying.
In part this may be because there have been
a lot of inaccurate scare stories about the Terrorism Bill and
its effects. I can confirm the accuracy of the figures which I
had supplied in my earlier written evidence of the number of people
who have been held for between seven and 14 days.
Rt Hon Charles Clarke MP
27 March 2006