UK Liberty

Reid herring

Posted in control orders, politicians on liberty, rule of law by ukliberty on May 25, 2007

The Times:

After the latest fiasco in which three terror suspects went on the run after breaching their control orders, the Home Secretary said yesterday that the Government would consider declaring that there was an emergency threat to the country, allowing it to opt out of human rights legislation, if all other options failed.

They have done this before, by the way, with Part 4 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act.

The Law Lords agreed there was a public emergency threatening the life of the nation, but didn’t agree that indefinitely detaining foreigners at Belmarsh was “strictly required by the exigencies of the situation”, which is what you need to show in order to derogate from Article 5 of the ECHR.

The Government hopes to reach agreement on plans to allow suspects to be questioned for some time after they have been charged. But Mr Reid is also considering letting the courts infer guilt in cases when a suspect keeps silent during questioning after charges have been brought – a move that will be far more controversial.

As I understood it, we can already do that – but I am not too sure. I will have to look that up.

The Government is to reject Tory demands for telephone tap evidence to made admissible in terrorist court cases.

The LibDems are also calling for that by the way. And organisations such as Liberty.

Mr Reid also wants the control order regime tightened to stop courts cutting the length of curfews from 18 hours to 14 hours or lower. He is appealing to the Lords in July in a number of cases where the courts have ruled that 18-hour curfews breach human rights.

Mr Reid said that if the Government lost it might suspend parts of the European Convention on Human Rights so that it could put suspects under conditions breaching human rights.

In other words, putting people under house arrest.

Now we get to why all this is a red herring.

A huge police search is under way for the three terror suspects on the run. Six of 17 people on control orders have now absconded.

Including LL, who absconded after his control order was quashed by the courts, before the authorities got round to serving him with a new one!

Scotland Yard named Lamine Adam, 26, his brother Ibra-him, 20, and Cerie Bullivant, 24, after they failed to report to police. The Adams’s brother, Anthony Garcia, 25, was jailed for life last month for his part in the “fertiliser bomb” plot.

Mr Bullivant is due to stand trial over claims that he breached his control order on thirteen occasions over the past ten months.

i.e. he had form!

Mr Reid said: “It is believed that these individuals wanted to travel abroad for terrorism-related purposes. They are not considered at this time to represent a direct threat to the public in the UK.”

Why the hell aren’t we talking about what the monitoring company and authorities did or didn’t do when these individuals neglected to phone in / pop round?

Why are we instead immediately on the subject of locking people up without trial (again)?


Not Saussure has a good analysis.

Update 2

According to the Independent, they co-ordinated their escape. I like this quote from Nick Clegg:

It is wildly inaccurate to claim that the three escapees were somehow helped by our respect for human rights.


3 Responses

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  1. notsaussure said, on May 25, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks for the link.

    As I understood it, we can already do that – but I am not too sure. I will have to look that up. We can draw inferences from silence at interview, certainly. But the point is that Reid wants not only to change the rules to allow interview after charge, which can’t happen at the moment but also to allow inferences to be drawn from silence at these interviews, thus making the proposal even more contentious.

  2. ukliberty said, on May 25, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Thank you. That makes things much more clear.

  3. […] order abscondersRed herringWhere are the civil libertarians?Justice at last for Chagoscorrecting the TimesJust a thoughtEditing […]

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