Government 'to pay out millions' to ex-detainees

The government is set to pay out millions in compensation to former detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, according to reports last night.

One former detainee is in line to receive an individual payment of more than 1 million after the government agreed to settle a series of High Court actions brought by ex-Guantanamo prisoners and others.

The Cabinet Office confirmed last night that ministers would be making a written statement to Parliament today updating MPs on the situation.

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According to a report on ITV News the settlement followed negotiations held over the past few weeks at a secret location, with two QCs acting as independent arbiters.

David Cameron authorised the negotiations in July after a court ruling ordering the disclosure of confidential documents.

With some 500,000 documents said to be involved, the Prime Minister said that vetting the material would absorb huge amounts of time for MI5 and MI6.

Among those said to be receiving settlements are Binyam Mohamed, Bishar al-Rawi, Jamil El Banna, Richard Belmar, Omar Deghayes, Moazzam Begg and Martin Mubanga.

Not all are British nationals, with some said to be asylum seekers.

There are also allegations that British security and intelligence officials colluded in their torture and abuse while they were held abroad.

The Cabinet Office said last night: "The Prime Minister set out clearly in his statement to the House on 6 July that we need to deal with the totally unsatisfactory situation where for 'the past few years, the reputation of our security services has been overshadowed by allegations about their involvement in the treatment of detainees held by other countries'.

"The government will lay a written ministerial statement, updating the House on progress, tomorrow morning."