HC Deb 28 April 1964 vol 694 cc177-8
25. Mr. Abse

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and the Colonies how many affidavits have now been received by him from residents of the Seychelles concerning the trial for murder of Paul Gobine and Philibert Loizeau and their subsequent conviction for manslaughter; whether he has now reviewed these affidavits what action he has taken upon them; and whether, in view of the allegations within the affidavits, he will conduct an independent inquiry into the conduct of the police, counsel and judiciary of the Seychelles in relation to the two trials of these men.

26. Mr. Holman

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and the Colonies whether he is aware that many witnesses who gave evidence in the trials for murder and manslaughter of Paul Gobine and Philibert Loizeau in the Seychelles have deposed that their evidence was false and was given under duress by police and the prosecuting counsel and what action he intends to take to review the convictions of these two men.

Mr. Fisher

Fifteen affidavits have now been received. They are being examined with care but I wish to take further legal advice before coming to any decision.

Mr. Abse

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, while examining these affidavits, he will note that among the allegations was one that the Attorney General was a witness of the very occurrence which he was prosecuting. In view of the fact that this is a tight ingrown Bar far removed from any appellate jurisdiction, will the right hon. Gentleman take particular care that this matter is investigated in a way which will satisfy the wide disquiet among distinguished citizens in the Seychelles?

Mr. Fisher

I have seen the affidavits. The papers together with the case records run to about 600 pages, and I am getting the best legal advice that I can on the matter. I take the hon. Gentleman's point, and I will pursue the matter further.