G4S investigated over Guantanamo Bay
The Independent reported on 12th January 2015 that British security company G4S had been reported to police over its involvement with Guantanamo Bay.
Detectives at Scotland Yard have been asked to examine whether the firm may have acted illegally in fulfilling the terms of a £70m contract it won last August to service the Cuban base, which currently houses 127 inmates not charged with any offence. A complaint lodged with police by the human rights group Reprieve alleged that G4S may be liable for prosecution in Britain under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 if it had profited from human-rights abuses at the prison, such as the use of force-feeding techniques.
At the end of last year, G4S sold its US subsidiary, G4S Government Solutions, which was responsible for carrying out the contract to provide “janitorial services” at the prison, to an undisclosed buyer for $135m (£89m). Reprieve argued that could amount to the transfer of criminal property, which was also an offence under the same act.
The Reprieve complaint stated that the G4S contract replaced a previous agreement between the base and the US firm Bremcor, which included “detainee hospital work”. It claimed it was “highly likely” that G4S staff would have been handed responsibility for carrying out similar tasks, which “makes it highly plausible it will be at least enabling and possibly participating in the force-feeding of detainees”.
It added that G4S Government Solutions agreed to pay 1 per cent of its annual revenue to G4S as part of a royalties agreement, meaning that the UK company would be indirectly profiting from any work its subsidiary carried out at Guantanamo. In 2013, before the Guantanamo contract was signed, G4S received more than £2.8m in such payments.
“In addition to being immoral and unethical, G4S’s involvement in Guantanamo Bay may give rise to criminal liability,” the complaint states. It goes on to argue that there is a “clear, public-interest” case for the company’s involvement with the base to be investigated by Scotland Yard.
According to the report the Government was already examining claims that G4S may have broken international guidelines laid down by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development by accepting the Guantanamo contract, after Reprieve lodged a complaint with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The results of the Government’s investigation have yet to be published.
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