§ Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will give the reason why Commander Alfredo Astiz, a captured Argentine, was returned to his home country by plane in a first-class compartment; what was the cost; and why this method of transport was used.
§ Mr. Blaker
Her Majesty's Government purchased an economy class ticket for Lieutenant-Commader Astiz's flight from the United Kingdom to Rio de Janeiro. The cost of the ticket was £726. Under article 118 of the third Geneva convention, the apportionment of the cost involved is a matter for discussion between Her Majesty's Government and the Argentine, through the protecting power Brazil. Air travel was considered the most practical and expeditious way to transport this one prisoner from the United Kingdom to Rio de Janeiro. Brazil took or the arrangements for transporting Lieutenant-Commander Astiz from Rio de Janeiro to Argentina.