Home Secretary Charles Clarke told The Times newspaper on Wednesday that Britain was seeking deals with several north African countries to allow suspects to be deported without risk of being tortured or sentenced to death in their home nations.

 

"I think we should be prosecuting much more energetically our ability to deport the individuals concerned to the countries from which they come ... particularly cases from north Africa. We are actively pursuing that," said Clarke.

 

Britain's Law Lords ruled last month against the indefinite detention of several men under legislation introduced after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States.

 

The men, including a Syrian cleric accused of being the spiritual inspiration for one of the 9/11 attackers, were not given detailed reasons for their detention or entitled to see the evidence against them. Some have been held for three years.

 

Not whole answer

 

The deportation of suspects will form part of Clarke's response to the Law Lords' judgment, but the minister said it would not be the whole answer to the ruling.

 

"I do not think the solution to the Law Lords' judgment for this government is in deportations, but they will help. There are other strands that we have to do," he said.

 

Clarke said the government was considering other measures, including the use of evidence from telephone tapping, to make it easier to convict in terrorism cases.