Quite Disgusting

Abu Qatada, the man once described as Osama bin Laden\’s right hand man in Europe, was pictured out walking the streets on the third anniversary of the 7/7 terror bombings.

A man convicted of nothing is allowed to roam the streets.

He was released from Long Lartin high security jail in Worcestershire jail last month after the Government failed to have him deported to Jordan where he is wanted for terrorism offences.

The Appeal Court ruled that Qatada would not get a fair trial in Jordan because statements against him may have been extracted by torture.

And will you look at that: not only have we not convicted him of anything, nor will we allow him to be tried where the process could be described as dodgy!

He may indeed be a bad \’un, but this is the very root of what civil liberties mean: those things that Basher was arguing for up in Yorkshire.

Until someone is convicted of a crime in a court of law (with that all important fair trial, the presumption of innocence, a jury, the ability to confront witnesses and the whole shebang) then they are innocent.

It\’s what living in a free country means. Just as they cannot bang him up for ever (although they had a damn good go) so can they not do it to you or me.

Yes, there\’s a number of costs associated with liberty: this is one of them.

10 thoughts on “Quite Disgusting”

  1. Well said. Mind you, in my understanding, the guy has been found guilty of offences in other jurisdictions, so I am not exactly all that keen to see this character at large.

    But your broader point is undoubtedly correct.

  2. I am reminded of Larry Flynt’s comment regarding the 1st Ammendment and how if it protected a bastard like him, it would protect everyone else.

  3. Except he has been convicted. He was given full due process in Jordan and found guilty.

    Forget blaming those nasty authoritarians. Just as long as libertarians are prepared to carry water for the obviously guilty, the Home Office hardly needs to do anything to discredit civil rights (real ones, not the right of murderous lunatics to use this country as one big hideout).

  4. And Timmy, you do not acknowledge that the rule of law that you, rightly, regard as paramount has been neutered by Human Rights Act and its legal antecedents. The HRA essentially allows judges free rein to ignore the precedents of our common law which are the core of our national and constitutional identity. Judges can now utilitise these measures to override elected representives and centuries of legal tradition by interpreting the reach of the rights contained with HRA and how competing rights will be balanced.

    There is nothing to celebrate here Tim.

  5. “Except he has been convicted. He was given full due process in Jordan and found guilty.”

    AIUI, Farzad Bazoft was given full due process in Iraq and found guilty. Presumably you’d be equally keen to respect that judgement?

    “The HRA essentially allows judges free rein to ignore the precedents of our common law which are the core of our national and constitutional identity.”

    Clueless muppeteer. The ECHR was created by British jurists as a way of codifying our historic freedoms under common law and extending them to our less fortunate neighbours on the Continent. The fact that we now need to rely on it to protect said freedoms is a little depressing, but at least it’s there…

  6. The wikipedia page you link to, just after your insult, contains a warning from Lord Denning,

    “We will do our best to see that our decisions are in conformity with it. But it is drawn in such vague terms that it can be used for all sorts of unreasonable claims and provoke all sorts of litigation. As so often happens with high-sounding principles, they have to be brought down to earth. They have to be applied in a work-a-day world.”

    Our judges, led as they are by a man who wishes to see sharia introduced, are failing to perform the role Denning saw as essential, and, just as he warns, the results are arbitrary and inconsistent with our parliamentary system and our common law.

  7. The idea that we can never send anyone to a country where they might not get a free trial is a really stupid one. It works in practise as a get out of jail free card for the scum of the earth.

    He is wanted in his native land for serious crimes. We should have sent him there.

  8. Yes, John B, you’ve broken the code: Saddam’s Iraq, pro-western Jordan, who cares ? Camel shaggers all of them.

    It’s funny how it’s all the people who yap about ‘Islamophobia’ are the ones who think every court in the middle east is run by barbarians, by definition.

    There’s far more evidence against Abu Qatada than there ever was against the court that convicted him.

  9. That’s Lord Denning who supported keeping the Birmingham 6 in jail forever despite their innocence on the grounds that releasing them would damage public faith in the justice system, isn’t it? I’m not surprised you’re on his side…

    I’m amused by the concept that “pro-western” == “has a fair and functional justice system” here. Discuss with reference to Saudi Arabia, Saddam’s Iraq in the early 1980s, etc.

    Terrorism offences are punishable extra-territorially under English law, so if there were enough evidence against Qatada to secure a conviction in an English court, then we could prosecute him.

    If the only evidence against him would be inadmissible in an English court, then Jordan’s system is therefore definitionally worse than England’s, and therefore we shouldn’t send Qatada there.

    Given that prosecuting Qatada in an English court and jailing him for a very long time would save everyone a great deal of political embarrassment, and yet it hasn’t happened, this strongly implies there is not enough evidence against him to secure a conviction…

  10. British justice is more arbitrary and less democratically based it was before the HRA gave judges carte blanche to overrule British law almost at will. You don’t seem to want to face that fact, John B. I think it’s time you did.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *