Wednesday, August 03, 2005

First Person Charged

The first person has been charged in relation to the July 21 bombings. He is not one of the three suspected bombers held in the UK, nor the other suspect detained in Italy.

The charge read out in court is having information that he knew or believed might be of material assistance in securing the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of another person in the UK for an offence involving the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism, failed to disclose that information as soon as reasonably practicable to a constable. Now work your way through that one.

Being Northern Irish born I'm used to not seeing bombers get caught. However, a lot of people in Northern Ireland must be guilty of the above. Even some of the comments by Unionist politicians down the years would lead one to suspect, that unless they had given such information to the police, they would be guilty of the above regarding IRA activities.

I know that the terrorism act is there to protect us. However, some of the new parts being discussed as coming in are too big an infringement of civil liberty. I trust that the Liberal Democrats in Westminster will do their best to strike a balance between the need for prosecution and the need for liberty.

1 comment:

Watching Them, Watching Us said...

The initial reports by various meainstream media all claimed the charge was under Section 38 of the Terrorism Act, which did not make any sense:

"Financial information. 38. Schedule 6 (financial information) shall have effect."

It appears that there was an insertion of a new Section 38B, which does tally with the reported charge, via the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Section 117

In theory, this could have been used in Northern Ireland since December 2001.

Media fact checking - Section 38 or Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 ? - UPDATE: Section 38B was inserted by Section 117 of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001

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