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Thursday, July 03, 2008 

British judges help terrorists go free

Melanie Phillips wrote in the Wall Street Journal about the case of the terrorist called "U" whom judges in Britain are allowing to remain, and outside of any prison too at that:
Many people here are rubbing their eyes at the fact that Britain is letting out of jail some of al Qaeda’s most dangerous members. In June, a British court released the notorious Islamist preacher Abu Qatada, who had spent the previous three years in jail pending deportation to Jordan to stand trial on terrorism charges.

Now there are media reports that the U.K. government is considering releasing an even more dangerous terrorist this week, rather than deporting him to his native Algeria. The man known only as ‘U’ (to protect his identity) was a close contact of Abu Qatada and allegedly was involved in planning terror operations in Los Angeles and Strasbourg, France.

Neither Abu Qatada nor ‘U’ has been prosecuted in Britain, because U.K. authorities possess no evidence to charge these men with plotting terrorist acts. Abu Qatada could have faced charges for lesser offenses under Britain’s terrorism law. But since these would have imposed only short prison sentences, the government considered it preferable to deport him to stand trial for more serious crimes in his home country.

Yet in both cases, the English courts have ruled that deporting these men would breach their human rights. Given that they were only being held pending deportation, their subsequent release became inevitable. These cases are but the latest examples of the way in which the English judiciary appears to be bending over backward to thwart the fight against terrorism.

‘U’ is considered so dangerous that his lawyers and the security service are still arguing over the unprecedented restrictions proposed for his bail, including permanent house arrest. Abu Qatada is free on the conditions that he remains at home for 22 hours every day, doesn’t use a cell phone, and doesn’t visit a mosque.

He now lives in a house in a London suburb, to the undoubted discomfiture of his neighbors. Dozens of police officers are required to ensure that he doesn’t violate his bail conditions, at an estimated annual cost of £500,000 ($996,274). Then there are his wife and five children who have to be supported on welfare benefits, as they have been during the years of his incarceration, at a further cost of some £45,000 per year – not to mention an extra £8,000 annually in disability benefits for Abu Qatada on account of his ‘bad back.’

Britain’s welfare ‘rights’ culture only accentuates the surrealism of this situation. How is it that people as dangerous as these two men are to be maintained at vast expense by the British taxpayer rather than being deported? Puzzlement surely turns into astonishment when one learns the grounds on which the Appeal Court decided not to throw Abu Qatada out of the country.

The judges were worried that, at his pending trial in Jordan, the court there might use evidence from a witness that had been obtained by torturing him. This concern persisted despite the Jordanians’ assurances that they would not do so, since this was against their own law.

Prohibiting torture is one thing. But extending such concerns to a witness in a case in which Britain was not even involved, thus preventing it from throwing out someone who endangered its own interests, is beyond perverse.
And yet, this is England where this mind-boggling misuse of justice has taken place. And they go so far out of their way to even allow welfare benefits for creatures like that, misusing millions of taxpayers' hard-earned pounds. Read the rest of the article to see how even the British parliament is no more reliable than the courts are.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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