And quite rightly too.
A senior immigration judge said yesterday that Qatada could be released despite even his own defence team suggesting that he posed a “grave risk” to Britain’s national security.
\’Coz there\’s rules, see?
We get to jail you if we\’ve tried you and found you guilty of a crime: something that was a crime at the time you did it. You get tried in front of a jury, see the evidence against you, get to argue against said evidence, have represenatation and etc. Doesn\’t matter whether you\’re a former Cabinet Minister charged with perverting the course of justice, a kiddie fiddler or suspected of being a mass murdering terrorist.
We also get to put you in jail if we\’re going to charge and then try you but we think you\’ll run away before we do…..and in a very small number of cases, if we think you\’ll nobble witnesses.
And that\’s actually about it. We don\’t get to stick you in a high security jail just because we suspect you\’re a bad \’un. No, not even if you\’re suspected of being a terrorist mastermind.
Extradition makes it all a little murkier: some who are to be extradited get bail as they\’re not flight risks (nor witness nobblers). Some are regarded as flight risks and don\’t. But if we\’re not going to extradite the bloke as we wouldn\’t allow the evidence in our own courts…..extracted by torture we think, thus tainted….then that doesn\’t apply either.
It\’s tempting to think that with a real bad \’un we should throw all of this away so that we can all sleep safely in our beds. But, you know, to be really honest about this? I sleep much more safely in my bed knowing that I cannot, on the basis of information extracted by torture, be declared a bad \’un and thus locked up indefinitely.
Remember, these rules are not here to protect the Abu Qatadas of this world. They are there to protect us, the citizenry, from the authorities.
Which is why I sleep safer in my bed of night: if the rules will protect some scumbag like him then they\’re going to protect me, aren\’t they?
I much prefer this system to the American one where suspected bad \’uns are dumped on an island in the Caribbean…..don\’t you?