August 25, 2006
Not Guilty: Now Leave
Weird, weird decision. One of those cleared in the ricin that never was plot is to be deported to Algeria. Apparently we now accept the word ofthe government of Algeria that he won’t be tortured on his return:
The judge said that Y might be detained “for a short period” upon his return but that was not expected to be more than a few weeks. His written judgment added: “The reconciliation process [in Algeria] is not window dressing or mere words, let alone a deceitful disguise for some more regressive steps.” The judge added that Algeria’s intelligence service “no longer have any interest in Y, although it was strong in the past . . . The gravity of his offences are no more than those alleged against others who have been released.”
So the argument is that while he’s a baddie he’s not enough of a baddie that one of the more oppresive regimes on the planet will be nasty to him.
Err, if he’s not enough of a baddie that one of the more repressive regimes on the planet will be nasty to him, then why is it necessary to deport him? As part of the jury that found him not guilty has said:
Three jurors who helped to acquit Y issued a statement expressing their disappointment at the decision. They said: “We, as a jury, acquitted him of all charges and expected that on his release he could begin to rebuild his life in this country. We have had our eyes opened to such an unfair and unjust sequence of events orchestrated by the authorities that we feel compelled to speak out. This is contrary to anything we thought could be possible in a democratic, free society.”
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Algeria hasn't been one of the "more repressive regimes on the planet" for quite a few years now.
Posted by: Peter Metcalfe | Aug 25, 2006 11:56:51 AM
Not guilty of an active part in the "Ricin" plot, but apparently guilty of having lots of links with active terrorists.
It's true that it isn't illegal to know somebody, but knowing lots of such people tends to suggest that he isn't the kind of person I want living in my country.
And just as I can't go and live in any country in the world that takes my fancy (for whatever reason), neither can he.
Posted by: David B. Wildgoose | Aug 25, 2006 12:55:03 PM
On Algeria specifically, would you like to take a chance? Better, yes, but not exactly upstanding.
And David, that's a pretty bizarre statement. Even if the special (?) court's ruling is reasonable given the details of the case, to deport someone to a country known to use torture is a breach of the guy's universal human rights. Or do you think torture is ok, if only in some cases?
Posted by: Niels | Aug 25, 2006 1:53:11 PM
Since when was the opinion of a member of a jury on anything except the verdict at the trial of any interest whatsoever? Y was found not guilty - end of debate as far as the jury should be concerned! Crap about "rebuilding his life in this country" sounds suspiciously similar to other rubbish spouted by the usual cadre of "human rights (for terrorists only)" lawyers. An analogous nonsense is the faux respect given to the opinions (favourable or otherwise) on British foreign policy by the families of British soldiers killed in Iraq: tragedy does not give you a special insight into the wider causes of that tragedy.
If the only reason Y was not deported years ago was the possibility that he'd be tortured in Algeria, then in the highly probable events that (1) he didn't arrive here direct from Algeria and (2) it is possible to trace the proximate country he did arrive from then (assuming that the country involved would take him - it certainly should if it's in the EU) why wasn't he deported to that country?
Posted by: Umbongo | Aug 25, 2006 2:25:04 PM
I travelled across a large part of Algeria just before the bombing in Libya. I was treated in a kind, mannered and friendly way. The day after, people doing the same as I had, as long as they had white skin were treated in, to be diplomatic, a threatening manner. I would not like to be targeted by the authorities, or proxies, in that country.
David B Wildegoose says: 'It's true that it isn't illegal to know somebody, but knowing lots of such people tends to suggest that he isn't the kind of person I want living in my country.'
I, in my more youthful days frequented the local hotel bar. Only after it changed ownership and most of the clientele, did a friend of mine tell me that police had been advised not to socialise there. Did I know the backgrounds of the people who drank there? Did I hell. Did I care? Not one jot. I was meeting friends for a quick pint after work and that was it. On your basis, I should be subject to rendition to a 'insert euphemism for favourable country that will gladly get you any information you want by whatever means necessary and they will never be heard of again' regime that makes it okay for twats like yourself to spout thoughtless nonsense.
Prognosis: just Google a few of those countries after autoerotic manipulation. Then think.
Posted by: ScotsToryB | Aug 25, 2006 4:31:25 PM
ScotsToryB, I think there is a difference between drinking in the same bar that is also frequented by low-lives and actively associating with the same.
And quite frankly, I couldn't care less if such a person was deported to a country that uses torture.
Yes, you did hear that right.
If I invite someone into my house and they respond by associating with people who want to smash it up and kill my family I think I have every right to throw them out.
It's called respecting people's human rights - in this case the human rights of people who don't want to have them or their loved ones killed or injured in a terrorist outrage.
So spare me the crocodile tears, because they really don't wash.
Posted by: David B. Wildgoose | Aug 25, 2006 5:47:40 PM
Wildgoose - "lots of links with active terrorists" - are there lots of active terrorists? Certainly, there are lots of jihadis/terrorists/freedom fighters in the Middle East but I assume you mean terrorists active in the West. Which makes me wonder what these active terrorists are doing as there don't seem to be many actual terrorist attacks, which I would have thought to be the defining condition of an "active terrorist". Furthermore, the two terrorist attacks I can think of in Britain recently (summer 05) were both homegrown and amateur (not saying amateurish) and barely (if at all)part of a terrorist nexus, so it is difficult to see how anybody could associate with them for they were secret.
WHO ARE THESE ACTIVE TERRORISTS .... and what are they doing that qualifies them as active terrorists?
Posted by: johnny bonk | Aug 26, 2006 12:35:37 AM
Wildgoose - sorry, also meant to ask if you trust and believe the government these days when they talk of active terrorists and the threat of terror etc etc ... I mean you don't actually believe the government any more .... do you?
Posted by: johnny bonk | Aug 26, 2006 12:40:20 AM
Wildgoose, sorry, still didnt quite manage to say it all.
Are you asserting that you believe the governments claim that this person associated with known terrorists, even in the light of the near certainty that the government tried to fit him up for a very serious crime that he seems not to have committed?
Posted by: johnny bonk | Aug 26, 2006 12:49:54 AM
Umbongo .."Since when was the opinion of a member of a jury on anything except the verdict at the trial of any interest whatsoever?"
Bollocks. Juries have a duty to seek the truth. However invonvenient that may be. Take the Sally Clark case, they asked if blood samples had been taken. ( apoint lost or overlooked by her brief) The pathologist said no. He lied. It was on this point alone that her appeal succeeded - it had nothing to do with Prof Meadows evidence, statistical or otherwise.
The jurors in the nosensical "ricin" gang case sat through weeks of evdence - much of it patently nonsense.
Furthermore the death of PC Oakes was the result of a fuck up between GMP and the Met. He didn't have even handcuffs with him , no protection and diidn't know why or on what grounds (if any) he could arrest Bourgass or any of the others.
The views of the jurors (although constitutionally illegal if published) are I yjink of immense interest.
Again I say Umbongo. Bollocks. I hope you don't sit on the jury that listens to my case you ignorant dolt.
Posted by: Ziz | Aug 26, 2006 12:52:54 AM
Interesting that your killer argument is calling me an "ignorant dolt" - very persuasive!
Now you've had your rant, read what I wrote. I'll interpret it for you since you obviously have difficulty following any argument and its implications. The jury is there to decide on the evidence in front of it. That's the jury's ONLY function. In the ricin case, the jury found the evidence - to say the least - unpersuasive and acquitted accordingly. Juries - and members of juries - are not there to pronounce on "rebuilding lives" after the trial.
Now get back to your playthings and leave the grown-ups to their discussions.
Posted by: Umbongo | Aug 26, 2006 12:51:30 PM