A GAGGING order may be imposed to prevent media coverage of the trial of four men accused of attempting to carry out suicide bomb attacks in London a year ago today.
Defense lawyers for the alleged July 21 bombers are expected to apply for stringent reporting restrictions when the case next comes before the Old Bailey in October.
They are also likely to seek an adjournment of the trial of Muktar Said Ibrahim, 27, Ramzi Mohammad, 23, Yassin Omar, 24, and Hussain Osman, 27. If the applications are successful the full story of the events of July 21, when explosive devices failed to detonate on three Tube trains and a bus, will not be told until late next year. Another
terrorism trial due to begin at Woolwich Crown Court in the autumn has already been made the subject of a wide ranging order. - TimesOnline
Delays and secrecy surrounding terrorism trials are prompting concerns about the way in which the criminal justice system handles such cases. More than 60 suspected terrorists are in British jails awaiting trial and most face long periods of detention on remand before their cases come to court.
Most have specialist lawyers who have successfully argued for adjournments, and have extended trials by several months. As a result the legal aid bill is soaring and the courts face the task of finding juries to sit on lengthy cases. Similar difficulties have already hampered a number of fraud cases. – TimesOnline
Counter-terrorist agencies believe that administrative delays, gagging orders and the sub judice rule, which bans pre-trial reporting, mean that the country is ill-informed about the terrorist threat.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, the head of the Scotland Yard Anti-Terrorist branch, highlighted concerns about the justice system this year. Mr. Clarke said: “Much of the debate and comment about counter-terrorism in the UK has been either skewed or lacking in important detail because of the length of time it is taking
cases to reach the point of trial. It is obviously vital that all parties should have time to prepare thoroughly for these important cases, and nothing must be said or done which might prejudice the ability of a defendant to receive a fair trial. But there has nevertheless been a price to pay. And that price, put simply, is that the British public have not been able to make fully informed judgments.”
Last week the Home Affairs Select Committee criticized some defense lawyers in terrorism cases. It questioned the activities of one unnamed small firm of solicitors representing large numbers of defendants.
The MPs’ report said: “We doubt whether those suspects were represented to the highest legal standards: this of course raises questions of whether justice has been properly served.” – Times Online
The four 21 July bombers are:
Muktar Said Ibrahim - Wiki
Yasin Hassan Omar - Wiki
Ramzi Mohammed - Wiki
Osman Hussain - Wiki
As they have yet to go to trial, we will have to wait until at least 2007 before we learn if there were any connections between this group and the July 7 bombers who did manage to carry out their attack. It is now being reported that some of the bombers caught in this latest plot have connections to the 7 July bombers (US News) and it seems that one may even have connections to George Galloway. (Not to suggest that he knew what they were up to, but more to infer who they look up to...)
As for the newest 24 terror bombers, I think they should get what they wanted, to fall from the sky without parachutes. Unfortunately, this is not possible, as the July 21 metro bomber Muktar Said Ibrahim pointed out at his very public arrest:
"I have rights, I have rights!"
Well, so do the rest of us. That includes the court system and the jurors who are asked to judge you. With all this in mind, there should be serious consideration of special tribunals as well as harsh punisments for these types of crimes. By that I mean the death penalty. After all, you can never safely release these people back into society. So you might as well dispose of them and use their execution to serve as an example to the others the Western Society does have limits. We too have rights and our rights are probably best protected by executing this lot.
Lawyers may seek gagging order for July 21 plot trial – Times Online
21 July 2005 London bombings - Wiki