Thursday, 19 February 2015

Accused now named as Erol Incedal and Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, in proposed secret criminal trial. – Tim Veater

Accused now named as Erol Incedal and Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, in proposed
secret criminal trial.
Accused now named as Erol Incedal and Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, in proposed secret criminal trial. – Tim Veater

See:
http://www.theguardian.com/law/2014/jun/12/secret-terror-trial-ab-cd-public-court
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/10894252/Secret-terror-trial-suspects-are-named-but-core-of-case-to-be-heard-behind-closed-doors.html
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/12/britain-security-trial-idUSL5N0OS41220140612
http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/core-of-exceptional-trial-can-be-held-in-secret/5041625.article

3 Responses to Accused now named as Erol Incedal and Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, in proposed secret criminal trial. – Tim Veater

  1. Tim Veater says:
    Ironically, the Government’s attempt to run this trial in complete secrecy, will ensure it receives greater public, mainstream media and internet interest. Let us hope that it does, because openness, even if it cannot always guarantee justice, is such a fundamental feature of a fair system of criminal law, that any and all attempts to dispense with it, should be uniformly and energetically resisted. At the very least the prosecutors should be under a statutory duty to justify any application for hearings in camera, rather than an untrammelled ability, apparently, to do as they wish unless objected to by others. The onus to challenge in this case was on several news outlets. What if in the future, for whatever reason, the press/BBC lose the will to object? If the government want to run a coach and horses through a long-standing principle, should they not at the very least be required to justify it in detail? If this would necessarily undermine the objective, it reinforces how reprehensible it is. (Let us hope now the names of the defendants have been published, at least the internet will swing into action.) It would appear in this case, not only did the government intend to shroud the case in COMPLETE secrecy, it also intended to forego the jury and reinvent the so-called “Diplock Courts” active in Northern Ireland from 1973 until 2006. But as far as I am aware even under Diplock, the press were not excluded completely. So what we may draw from this proposal is that within the British government, specifically supported by the first legally unqualified Lord Chancellor, is a deeply undemocratic element, prepared to set aside fundamental and essential principles of open and fair justice. That is a fact beyond dispute. Could there be a more chilling conclusion for the rest of us?
  2. Tim Veater says:
    Details of the initial arrest of the two men on October 13th 2013 as reported by the Docklands and East London Advertiser are of interest:
    “Two men have appeared in court charged with terror offences after they were arrested in an operation near the Tower of London.
    The men, who appeared in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, were identified only as AB and as CD.
    They will next appear in custody at the Old Bailey on November 18.
    Both men were charged under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 – namely possession of a computer file including information on bomb making.
    The first man – AB – was also charged with preparing a terrorist act contrary to section five of the Terrorism Act 2006.
    The second man – CD – was also charged with possession of a false passport under the Identity Document Act 2010.
    Prosecutor Michael Atkinson made an application for the names of the defendants not to be released to protect the security of an ongoing investigation.
    District judge Michael Snow allowed the application, saying it was necessary “to prevent the administration of justice from being damaged”.
    The pair were arrested after police marksmen used special ammunition to “hard stop” a car in Mansell Street on October 13.
    Two other men arrested as part of the same operation were freed without charge on Saturday.”
    http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/news/court-crime/terror_suspects_in_court_after_operation_near_tower_of_london_1_2909996
    The names are obviously of foreign origin but there is no information what that is, how long they have been in Britain or whether they were born here, what was there motivation and whether they worked for themselves or foreign interests/agencies. Nor if the intention was to make explosive devices, who or what were the intended targets. The proposed total blackout on reporting is reminiscent of the Ben Zygier case as is the mention of false passports. Secrecy certainly suggests potentially embarrassing international connections. I don’t suppose there is a chance it was related in some way with the nuclear ambitions of Iran or of the high-profile Chevaline case by any chance, coming as it does a year and a bit later? The method of stopping the car and apprehending the suspects is unusual to say the least (“marksmen using special ammunition”?) as is the veil of secrecy regarding their identity on the basis that to reveal would damage the investigation. Eight months later and a completed investigation, means that the justification must have subtly changed. Now it must be something other than protecting the investigation, yet the government claimed that the prosecution could not proceed if details were reported. We are left wondering why the reasoning has changed and what it could be? Seems we shall never be able to find out. Men may be convicted and sentenced for terrorist offences without the public ever being able to gauge the potential seriousness of them or whether in all the circumstances the trial, conviction and punishment appear appropriate. END.
  3. Tim Veater says:
    MORE INFORMATION including a photograph of one of the men via the Daily Mail is provided below. The question remains, given what appears on the face of it merely an interest in bomb-making, even if true, goes no way to explain the intended draconian secrecy, that would have not only prevented public knowledge of the alleged offences but ANY aspect of the trial altogether! Either the alleged offences are being over-hyped – after all not even a weapon or related piece of equipment is claimed; or vital sensitive aspects are being with-held; or this was a government exercise to “test the waters” so to speak, to judicial secrecy applied to criminal cases. ALL these possibilities have very sinister and threatening overtones to the sort of political society we inhabit, that the disgracefully complacent assurances of our legally unqualified “Lord Chancellor”, do nothing to assuage. Turkey, Algeria and mobile phones may provide clues as to some of the ramifications.
    DAILY MAIL
    By CHRIS GREENWOOD
    PUBLISHED: 12:49, 12 June 2014 | UPDATED: 12:10, 13 June 2014
    “The two defendants can now be named as Erol Incedal, a British national of Turkish origin, and Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, a British national of Algerian origin.
    The pair, both 26, were arrested by Metropolitan Police firearms officers in October. They are due to go on trial as soon as next week accused of serious terrorist offences.
    Incedal, who has links to London and was born overseas, is accused of ‘engaging in conduct in preparation for terrorist acts’, which carries a potential life sentence.
    He and Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, of London, are accused of possessing terrorist documents, including a file named ‘bomb making’ hidden on their mobile phones.
    Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, who has described himself as a ‘fun-loving’ person online, faces a fourth charge under immigration laws of improperly obtaining a British passport.
    The former ‘team leader’ for a charity housing association worked with vulnerable adults after graduating with a second-class degree in economics, and is listed as a joint director of a firm which appears to sell mobile phone software.”

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