Canada releases secret Afghan war documents

Canada releases secret Afghan war documents

The files were believed to contain evidence that Canada transferred prisoners to Afghan custody knowing they could be tortured, in violation of Canadian and international law.

"These documents clearly show that there are no credible allegations against the Canadian Armed Forces and at all times our forces acted in accordance with international law in their handling of Taliban prisoners," Defense Minister Peter MacKay said yesterday.

Opposition parties had threatened to force an election last year over the government's refusal, citing national security concerns, to produce the sensitive Afghan war documents.

But a deal was reached in June 2010 to have a committee of MPs review all of the documents to determine their relevance to the study of the transfer of Afghan detainees by a parliamentary committee on the Afghan conflict.

Any documents found to be relevant were to be referred to a panel of "expert arbiters" tasked with deciding how to make the information in the documents available to all MPs and to the public without compromising national security.

The opposition said it would now take time to review the documents.

New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton noted that the Commons committee that was to scrutinize the released documents no longer exists following a May election.
He added, however: "I don't think it puts an end to the controversy."

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