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Only one in eight (90%) terror arrests result in conviction

Posted by musliminsuffer on May 14, 2009

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

=== News Update ===

Only one in eight (90%) terror arrests result in conviction

Only one in eight suspects arrested for terrorism offences is actually convicted, according to new statistics.

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent

Last Updated: 4:42PM BST 13 May 2009

The figures, released by the Home Office for the first time show that only 23 per cent of those arrested since September 2001 were charged with terrorist-related offences and only 13 per cent convicted.

The Home Office statistics show that 56 per cent of the 1,471 arrested were released without charge and 42 per cent of those charged were never convicted.

Only six of those arrested for terrorism offences were held for the maximum 28 days permitted since July 2006 and only three charged, while 66 per cent were released or charged within two days.

Baroness Neville-Jones, shadow security minister, used the opportunity to call for phone-tap evidence to be allowed in court.

“Whilst the number of arrests increased in 2007/8, the number of people charged dropped by a quarter,” she said. “One of the most powerful deterrents to terrorism is successful prosecution and imprisonment.

“The Government needs to allow intercept evidence in court so that real terrorists don’t get let off for lack of admissible evidence.”

Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights organisation Liberty, said: “In free societies we arrest on suspicion, charge with evidence and convict when there is proof. These figures remind us that the overwhelming majority of those arrested for terrorism were not guilty of any charge and half weren’t charged at all.

“All the more worrying that wholly innocent people may be held for a month without charge or indefinitely without charge under control orders – based on secret suspicions and intelligence alone.”

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) recently released figures that showed that 91 per cent of those put on trial in 2007 and 80 per cent of those tried in 2008 were convicted, but the new figures suggest that in many cases charges are dropped as the trial approaches.

Professor Paul Wiles, the Home Office Chief Statistician, said terrorism was often more difficult to investigate and that several cases are still on-going which may increase the conviction rate.

As of March 31 2008 there were 125 prisoners in British jails for terrorist-related offences, of which just under a third were on remand awaiting trial.

In the previous year 10 life sentences were handed out for plots including the fertiliser bomb plot and the failed July 21 attacks.

Profiles of those arrested reveal that 43 per cent were aged over 30, and 11 per cent under 21.

Just over half of those jailed or on remand for terrorist offences were of Asian origin, 62 per cent were British nationals and 91 per cent said they were Muslims.

Of the foreign nationals, 21 per cent were of African origin, mainly Algerian and Somalian, nine per cent were from the Middle East and four per cent from Asia.

Prof Wiles pointed out that although only 23 per cent of those arrested were charged with terrorist offences, another 12 per cent were charged with other offences, bringing the total to 35 per cent, comparable with other major offences.

In addition, another 9 per cent were dealt with in other ways such as transfer to immigration authorities or dealt with under mental health legislation.

Vernon Coaker, Policing and Security Minister, said: “We know we face a real and serious threat from terrorism and the figures outlined today show 196 terrorist-related convictions between September 2001 and March 2008.

“This underlines the considerable success that the police, security service and intelligence agencies have had in disrupting terrorists and that the CPS has had in prosecuting these individuals. I am very grateful to them for their hard work in protecting the public and keeping us safe.



-muslim voice-

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