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Dec 06,2007
Brown seeks longer U.K. terror detentions
by UPI

LONDON -- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown faced stiff opposition Thursday to his renewed call for extending terror detentions without charge from 28 to 42 days.

Speaking to reporters in London, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith defended Brown's proposal, The Times of London reported.

"The purpose of this paper is therefore to set out the case for making it possible to go beyond 28 days, but only where this is exceptionally required and then only for a strictly limited period of time," she said.

Opposition Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and civil liberties groups all spoke against extending the detention period.

Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats said his party was soundly against the extension.

"Twenty-eight days is already the longest period in any democratic jurisdiction in the world," he said. "Where on earth then is the evidence from the government that this further extension is necessary?"

In November 2005, former Prime Minister Tony Blair had his first parliamentary defeat when he tried to extend the detention period to 90 days, the report said.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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