Secret payouts for terror suspects reach 30m as Kenneth Clarke argues we 'just pay up to who knows who'
UK cannot contest compensation claims because of sensitive evidenceKenneth Clarke says 'we just pay up to who knows who'Vote on 'secret courts' to fight compensation claims will be held on Monday

Olivia Williams


02:04 GMT, 3 March 2013



02:27 GMT, 3 March 2013

Britain has paid out more than 30 million in compensation to terror suspects – and there could be yet more payments to come with 20 cases set to go ahead.

The full extent of the payouts has emerged after Kenneth Clarke, the minister without portfolio, warned that Britain is a magnet for compensation claims.

Huge sums of public money have been handed to terror
suspects who say they have been wrongly detained or tortured over the past few years. One received 1million after British secret
services were accused of being complicit in his torture.

 Kenneth Clarke

Controversial plan for 'secret courts': Minister without portfolio Kenneth Clarke has warned that Britain has become a magnet for terror suspect compensation

In an interview with The Sunday Times,
Clarke warned that the government 'just pay up to who knows who' and
that Britain cannot defend itself without compromising
national security.

Currently claimants can demand access to all of
the intelligence held about them.

Then the British security services face the dilemma of disclosing the sensitive information that may threaten national security or simply paying off the claim.

Mr Clarke wants parts of the compensation cases that involve classified material to be heard in secret so that Britain can argue its corner in future.

He has previously warned that these payouts could even help fund al-Qaeda and other terrorist organisations.

Kenneth Clarke is warning that the Government cannot defend itself in compensation claims

Terror suspects leave Westminster Magistrates Court: Kenneth Clarke is warning that the Government cannot defend itself in compensation claims

The former justice minister told a
parliamentary joint committee on human rights this year: 'We don’t know
where the money goes'.

Mr Clarke said: 'Those who oppose my Bill prefer silence. You just pay out and the plaintiff gets his money.'

A final vote on Mr Clarke's bill will take place tomorrow.