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Tuesday, 18 December, 2001, 10:37 GMT
Your questions on the war
Harry Callaghan from the Republic of Ireland asks:

Geoff Hoon says the UK won't hand over Bin Laden unless the US promises not to execute him. Now, Hoon has placed UK troops under US officers. What are the UK troops to do if the US officers order Bin Laden to be handed over to them?

The BBC Defence producer Linden Kemkaran writes:

If Bin Laden is captured in a European country then extradition to the USA would be difficult unless they waived the death penalty. However, if he's caught in Afghanistan, regardless of who actually captures him, there would be no problem in handing him over to the Americans for trial.

The crime was committed on American soil so it's up to them to try and punish the culprit. It's only if he's caught on European soil that legalities such as the Human Rights Act may prevent extradition to a country which enforces the death penalty.

The official line from the MOD is this:

"The coalition has made it clear throughout the campaign that one of its main objectives is to bring Osama Bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders to account. That remains the case today". British troops ARE under the command of CENTCOM (Central Command), an American setup.

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