No return if Guantanamo Britons pose risk - Blair

 

British Prime Minister Mr Tony Blair today denied delaying the return of Britons held at GuantanamoBay.

The Prime Minister said he expected the matter to be resolved within weeks.

But Mr Blair warned the nine would not be brought back if they posed a terrorrisk.

Ministers have been accused of holding up repatriation by the solicitor of oneof the prisoners.

US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes, Mr Pierre-Richard Prosper reportedly saiddetainees could be released from Camp Delta if their home countries were able to"manage" them.

In the long term, it is thought that could mean surveillance by police couldbe an alternative to imprisonment.

Ms Louise Christian, solicitor for Briton Feroz Abbasi, seized on the report asconfirmation the UK rather than the US government was behind the continuingdetention.

That was rejected by Mr Blair in an interview on BBC1's Breakfast with Frost.

However, he said: "We do need to be very, very clear about one thing.

"The people who were detained at Guantanamo Bay were detained arising out ofthe conflict in Afghanistan and activities of al Qaida there.

"Without saying anything that prejudges whether they might be guilty or notguilty, it is extremely important we balance up the absolutely properconsideration they get a fair and decent trial with the need to protect peoplein this country."