Clarke seeks to put freed detainee back in Belmarsh

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The Independent Online
A former Belmarsh detainee who was freed on bail after a mental breakdown faces being sent back to jail on the orders of Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary. The move - to be discussed in a secret court hearing tomorrow by a special panel of judges - has provoked a fresh row over the legality of the Government's anti-terrorism powers.

The panel of judges will be told tomorrow that the man, a wheelchair- bound Algerian known only as G, should be reimprisoned for allegedly breaching his extremely strict bail conditions in November.

G, an alleged Islamist extremist, was freed from Belmarsh prison on the advice of psychiatrists after attempting to take his life. The move will reignite the controversy over Mr Clarke's attempts to respond to a ruling by the House of Lords in December that jailing alleged terror suspects without charge or trial was illegal and unjustified.

His proposals to place the suspects under "house arrest" have led to a growing backlash from MPs, including Labour backbenchers, and human rights groups.

Three of the detainees,

including two men held at Broadmoor secure hospital, are refusing to leave detention until the Home Office drops its extremely restrictive bail conditions, which require detainees to remain behind closed doors, and bans phone calls and visits from friends.

The Home Office claims G allowed two unauthorised visitors to see him in his one-bedroom flat in London, where he has been living with his wife and child under "house arrest" since last April. It is thought his flat was bugged by the security services.

Gareth Peirce, G's solicitor, said the allegations were untrue, and accused ministers of adding to her client's "mental torture".

She said G would have no right to challenge the allegations since neither she nor her client would be allowed to attend tomorrow's secret hearing before judges on the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac).

It is understood that the Home Office's secret move played a large part in the decision of Ian MacDonald QC, one of Britain's leading human rights lawyers, to stand down as one of Siac's legal advisers last November.

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