One week after Cheney gets bitch-slapped in Riyadh | Blair cancels investigation into Saudi Fraud | 16 more Saudis released from Guantanamo
Saudi inquiry decision faces legal challenge | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited:
The Campaign against the Arms Trade and the Corner House, a social and environmental justice group, believe the grounds for the decision - made after the prime minister warned it was against Britain's security and foreign policy interests - could be subject to judicial review. David Pannick QC has been hired.Meanwhile, sixteen of, as Rumsfeld characterized those in Guantanamo: "...the best-trained, most vicious killers on the face of the earth" are released and are relaxing comfortably in a Riyadh hotel, having their arranged wedding plans scheduled:
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development also signalled that it would launch its own investigation. Britain is a signatory to the 30-nation grouping's anti-bribery convention.
Yesterday confusion deepened as Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith offered apparently conflicting explanations. Mr Blair told reporters at the European Council in Brussels that he accepted 'full responsibility' for ending the inquiry. It could have provoked years of 'ill-feeling' with Saudi Arabia, a crucial ally in the Middle East, he said. 'Leave aside the effect on thousands of British jobs and billions worth of pounds for British industry ... Our relationship with Saudi Arabia is vitally important for our country in terms of counterterrorism, in terms of the broader Middle East and in terms of helping in respect of Israel and Palestine.'
Sir Nicholas Lyall, a former attorney general, said that while he agreed with the judgment it was "absolutely astonishing" that Mr Blair should get involved in what was a matter for the independent prosecuting authority. "The prime minister ... doesn't seem to understand our constitution," he said. "He seems to be stepping in and seeking to rule the roost.
Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz underlined that the Saudi government was working to free its citizens in Guantanamo, telling the state news agency that the release of the 16 was due to ``efforts exerted by Saudi authorities.''
The 16 were being held in custody for investigation, as have most of the previous Saudi citizens returned from Guantanamo, ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Mansour al-Turki told AP.
He did not elaborate on the investigation, but al-Shimri said returned prisoners are usually questioned to determine why they were in the locations where they were captured - Pakistan or Afghanistan, in most cases.
They were initially staying at a Riyadh hotel before being moved into a detention facility. Their families were notified about their arrival and will start seeking permission to see them, al-Shimri said.