Sunday, November 04, 2007

Aamer Anwar, Mohammed Siddique and Scotland's 'discredited' criminal justice system.


Is the reputation of Scottish justice in tatters?

A Scottish court found Mohammed Atif Siddique guilty of (1) providing training material on bomb-making and (2) spreading terrorist propaganda on websites. Siddique was jailed for 8 years.

"After his arrest, Atif Siddique asked his lawyer 'to state that he is not a terrorist and he completely and utterly condemns the atrocities of 11 September and 7 July.'" - Indymedia Scotland: Imprisoned without trial in Scotland

"Eldest son Mohammed Jnr, 27, a law student, added: 'Atif is a 20-year- old boy and he's an inquisitive boy. He was curious to find out more about the war in Iraq. I think he visited a few websites, maybe like the Al-Jeezera website, but there's nothing wrong with that. He is totally against terrorism.'" - The Sunday Mail - NEWS - HUMILIATED //aangirfan: Mohammed Atif Siddique

After the trial, Siddiques's lawyer, Aamer Anwar read a statement which said that Siddique, was merely doing "what millions of young people do every day, looking for answers on the internet". - Legal luminaries defend Aamer

Anwar stated that the "verdict was a tragedy for justice and for freedom of speech", and added: "Young Muslims live in a climate of fear no different to that experienced by the Irish community in the last century."

Anwar said that Siddique "did not receive a fair trial".

Lord Carloway, the Siddique trial judge, has told Anwar that he faces a possible contempt of court charge. If convicted, Anwar could go to prison and be banned from practising law.

Imran Khan, the London solicitor who acted for the family of Stephen Lawrence, said about the Anwar case: "There should be no attempt to silence lawyers. If lawyers can't speak out then one of the bedrocks of justice - the right to highlight a miscarriage of justice - just goes."

Michael Mansfield, one of the top five QCs in England, said: "We need independent strong lawyers who will speak out."

According to the BBC (Terror accused 'had Osama video' ) computer expert Michael Dickson has given evidence about Siddique's laptop computer.

"The reason Dickson was upset has been erased from this version of the story, but his testimony pointed out that the incriminating videos found on the laptop all had creation dates LATER than the time the laptop was confiscated from the suspect!

"He told the court: 'An initial examination of this system revealed it was last activated between approximately 2219 BST and 2330 BST on 5 April 2006. This immediately struck us as being unusual as we were informed that the computer had been seized from the accused's possession at about 2000 BST the same date.'

"Mr Dickson said further examination revealed that the times and dates associated with more than 200 files on the system had been updated between these times."

Are the Scottish police capable of faking evidence? Consider Lockerbie : Police chief- Lockerbie evidence was faked .

What are we to make of Scottish judges? (aangirfan: Lockerbie - who were the key players in the trial?)

Lord Fraser was the lord advocate (1989-92) who initiated the case against Megrahi (the Libyan convicted in the Lockerbie trial). On 20 December 2006 Lord Fraser was detained by police after they were called to Dundee Airport following reports of a disturbance on board an aircraft. Lord Fraser was charged with disorderly conduct. It was announced on 2 February 2007 that the Crown Office had dropped these charges due to insufficient evidence that an offence had been committed.

Lord Hardie, as Lord Advocate 1997-2000, was due to lead the prosecution team in the Lockerbie trial. Lord Hardie resigned just before the Lockerbie trial began. There were rumours that there was a lack of evidence to convict the Libyans.

Dr Hans Kochler, the United Nations observer appointed to oversee the Lockerbie trial, said the Lockerbie trial was "not fair and was not conducted in an objective manner". ( UN Lockerbie trial observer urges independent inquiry into the case )

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) examined the Lockerbie case. Kochler said about the SCCRC: "In giving exoneration to the police, prosecutors, and forensic staff, I think they show their lack of independence. No officials to be blamed, simply a Maltese shopkeeper. They also exonerate the original trial and appeal defence team and this also surprises me. I have doubts that the Scottish judicial system has learned anything from the Lockerbie trial." Http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/other/display.var.1506988.0.0.php

Tam Dalyell, former MP, said: "SO WHERE does the report of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission leave the reputation of Scottish justice? As the son-in-law of former Lord Justice Clerk, John Wheatley, and as one who helped to persuade Libya to surrender Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah and Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi to the Scottish legal process it pains me to say: 'In proverbial tatters.'..." Http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=184&id=1014702007



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