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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 March, 2004, 02:42 GMT
What next for Guantanamo five?
All five Britons who had been allowed to return to the UK from Guantanamo Bay have now been released without charge.

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Margaret Gilmore told BBC News 24 what could happen next.

It is very likely the men will file law suits.

Certainly the lawyer for one, the one who wasn't arrested when he touched down on British soil, has indicated that they are going to try to seek compensation, initially from the Americans but, more importantly, they want apologies, not only from America but also from Britain.

Guantanamo Bay
More than 600 people are still being held at Guantanamo Bay

They're saying that Britain was complicit because it allowed officers from MI5 to go over there and interrogate them six times so they really want their names absolutely cleared, they want an apology.

Then they're going to try and go through the US courts to get compensation.

However, that will be very difficult because the courts in America have not yet accepted that they have any powers over what happened at Guantanamo Bay, which is not officially American soil.

There is also going to be huge concern about the four Britons still in Cuba and their legal and civil rights.

They don't have access to lawyers and they are going to go through military tribunals, which are separate from the ordinary court system in America.

I think we are going to see a campaign to see them treated differently build up in the next few months.

There is no doubt they will be watched and checked up on every now and again even though they are absolutely free to go
Margaret Gilmore

The campaign will want somebody to say what the evidence is against them and to see them get access to lawyers so they can fight their corner.

However, I don't think the men who have been released will be put under any pressure not to press for charges for the sake of those still in Cuba.

I don't think that anyone who tries to put any sort of pressure on them will be able to get away with it - in a way because for so long they have also been denied normal rights, they have not had access to lawyers and have had their civil rights infringed to a great extent.

They have been arrested and checked out by Scotland Yard.

There is no doubt they will be watched and checked up on every now and again even though they are absolutely free to go.

There are no charges against them so I think it would be very difficult for the government or anyone else to start putting pressure on them.

The BBC's Margaret Gilmore
"The police want to know why they were in Afganistan"


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