reprieve

The last time corners were cut it was the Blair government, and MI6, who helped abduct my clients - a Libyan opposition figure and his heavily pregnant wife - and put them on a one-way flight to a Libyan dictator's torture chambers. It made no difference that Abdul-Hakim Belhaj only opposed Gaddafi, that the West was not his enemy, nor that of his blameless wife. Because of MI6's actions - and the decision in the realpolitik of the day to cosy up to Gaddafi, 'human rights' or basic decency be damned -- they were brutalised just the same.
In short, if Donald Trump had any interest in a sensible budget, he would begin by cutting out this monumental waste of money. It is a shame that President Obama failed to fulfil his promise to close the prison, but this should not lessen our own commitment to make sure it happens.
Our participation in the US torture programme was contrary to British values and did nothing to make us safer. If Britain does not shore up its defences quickly, it runs the real risks of being once more dragged into American excesses.
The 'targeted killing' policy is a seductive one - it promises accuracy and zero civilian casualties. Yet the US experience shows this to be false... With US military figures now warning their programme has been a failure, the PM's unilateral decision to adopt this model is truly bizarre.
Was Khan ever going to commit a crime in the UK? I have no idea. The benefit of a courtroom - or even a Parliamentary debate - is that it allows us to hear the evidence beforehand, and can prevent us from making mistakes. The CIA (and now Cameron) want us to think that they are clinical killers. It just ain't so.
It is rather chilling to imagine what will be taking place in the coming days, as Pierrepoint's Pakistani descendants ponder how best to kill this man. They will presumably be pulling out their paraplegia charts, factoring in the weight of his wheelchair, and wondering how best to roll Abdul Basit into place, all in the name of justice. Let us hope that sanity prevails.
While we may have abolished the death penalty in this country long ago, we remain involved in its continuing use around the world - and therefore responsible for doing what we can to bring it to an end. As a start, we need to see the Home Office open up a bit more - and the FCO think again about whether the best way to react to the abuses of our allies it to tip-toe around them.
Much has been written recently of the spate of executions in Pakistan - more than 200 now, and counting - since the moratorium was lifted last December. While this spate of execution surely merits the international condemnation it has provoked, it must not be permitted to obscure the nightmare that is being faced by Pakistani citizens on death row in other countries. Most pressing, perhaps, is the fate of those who face execution in Saudi Arabia.
I find myself surprisingly calm. In part, it is because I continue to have a residual faith in the system, and I cannot believe, after 28 years, that Kris will not get justice today. He simply did not kill Derrick and Duane Moo Young, father and son, in Room 1215 of the Dupont Plaza Hotel back on October 16, 1986.
The mass slaughter of 142 people, most of them children, in Peshawar last week was a disgusting act. Unfortunately, the Pakistan government's reaction has been unwise, following the pattern set by the United States in 2001: pouring oil on the fire, while ultimately undermining the rule of law.