HC Deb 18 November 2003 vol 413 c831W
Mr. Drew

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the use in special immigration appeals committees of evidence obtained through torture in a foreign country. [139063]

Beverley Hughes

[holding answer 17 November 2003]The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) has adopted the common law approach to evidence which may have been obtained elsewhere through the use of torture—save for evidence that is obtained from a party (usually the defendant in a criminal trial), all evidence is admissible, however unlawfully obtained. However, where that evidence may have been obtained by torture, this will bear on the proper weight to be given to the information. The means by which information is obtained therefore goes to its reliability and weight and not to its admissibility.

While we do not condone torture, we do have an obligation to protect national security and public safety and we would be deficient in this duty if we did not properly assess all information involved in association with the war on terror.

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