Friday, September 01, 2006

Details Emerge In British Terror Case?

The NY Times published details of the alleged airline bombers plot. You can't read them in this country. No copies of the NY Times were shipped. But I suppose you could always google '' Details Emerge in British Terror Case'' and see what happens...

13 Comments:

Anonymous NotSaussure said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 02, 2006 12:30 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, you can read it, but you need to use a web anonymizer or a proxy to hide your IP address

September 02, 2006 1:11 am  
Blogger Ham said...

Explosive stuff. It appears that there is a block now on accessing the page directly from the UK. Which is good, because otherwise it might prejudice the trial. So don't use an anonymous proxy like http://www.hidemyass.com/ to read it, whatever you do.

September 02, 2006 1:33 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

I hope that they get a fair trial. That is very important. It is goig to be hard enough since an extraordinary number of details have already been leaked, by the British media.

September 02, 2006 8:31 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

...sorry, Notsaussure, I can't directly link, in case of Contempt proceedings. I advise people to think carefully and consider ham's comment.

September 02, 2006 10:16 am  
Anonymous Carole said...

I've read it on the internet. I didn't need a proxy. It's linked on some blogs. It wouldn't prejudice me if I had to serve on a jury, I am already prejudiced by my deep deep suspicion of anything I am now told by the two Blairs. I don't trust them and I don't trust their motives. By the way, what's happened to the failed July bombers, will their trial ever take place or is it being held up for political reasons?

September 02, 2006 12:12 pm  
Anonymous NotSaussure said...

Sorry about that, Rachel; I was in two minds about posting the link to the blog that reproduced the article in full -- I wouldn't have posted it if you hadn't had comment moderation turned on so you could decide whether to leave it in or not. Rachel -- please feel free to cut the next sentence!. I have a little more to say on this in another place.

As various people have said, there are plenty of proxy servers that conceal where you're based -- Firefox users can install the httpProxy extension, which comes with several proxies already loaded and and allows you to switch between them and your regular ISP just by clicking a button in your browser.

As to Contempt of Court, I take your point, though in the event of the prosecutions collapsing because of an abuse of process argument (it isn't safe to let it go to trial because there's a real danger the jurors will have read so much about it that they'll have already made up their minds), I suspect both Dr Reid and Gordon Brown may have to bear some of the blame.

I know you don't like conspiracy theories -- neither do I, much of the time -- but I rather wonder about how indiscreet were some of our old friends, 'sources close to the investigation', with the New York Times. You expect some leaks in a major police inquiry because of the number of people involved, but I'd have hoped our spooks would know to be a bit more close-mouthed when there's a foreign reporter in earshot.

I can't help wondering if some folks wouldn't be rather pleased if the trial collapsed before it got before a jury, so the strength of the evidence against the accused never had to be tested in open court.

This would save embarrassment all round and enable a bit of face-saving, since blame for the lack of convictions could be shifted onto out-of-touch judges who just don't get it and, more generally, both 'A nineteenth-century criminal justice system trying to solve twenty-first-century crimes' and 'Justice weighted towards the criminal and in need of rebalancing towards the victim'

I don’t suggest this was orchestrated, but successful politicians generally become successful because they’re good at turning their, and others’, mistakes to their advantage.

September 02, 2006 2:28 pm  
Blogger Sofocleto said...

Remember this?

NBC News - June 23, 2006

MIAMI - Seven people were arrested Thursday in connection with the early stages of a plot to attack Chicago’s Sears Tower and other buildings in the U.S., federal law-enforcement sources told NBC News.

Now, see how the Daily Show deconstructs Fed's Miami terrorists hype HERE

September 02, 2006 4:50 pm  
Blogger Numeral said...

Carole asked about the July 21st trials:
Five deny 21/7 terror charges
11:12am 28th April 2006

Five men have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to murder and cause explosions in London on 21 July last year.

The men are accused of planting explosive devices on the London transport network two weeks after suicide bombers killed 56 on the London Underground and on a double-decker bus.

The men also denied various charges of possessing "an improvised explosive device" and four denied attempted murder.

Their trial is due to take place on October 3 this year.

A sixth man, Adel Yahya, 23, from London, was remanded to another hearing in June. He was charged with conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life but did not enter a plea.

Muktar Said Ibrahim, 27, Ramzi Mohammed, 23, Yassin Omar, 24, Manfo Asiedu, 32 and Hussain Osman, 27, all from London, entered pleas before the trial judge, Mr Justice Fulford, at The Old Bailey.

All denied two charges of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life between January 1 and July 30 last year.

The men appeared in court by video link from Belmarsh Prison. Osman appeared on video link from Woodhill Prison.

Source: Daily Mail

September 03, 2006 10:50 am  
Blogger Ham said...

I actually have a very high opinion of the eventual result of a jury trial in most cases, especially when it is compared to what the alternatives might be. (Not too sure when it comes to complex financial fraud or the like, but that's another matter)

Following on from that, a lot of the regulations surrounding a jury trial (don't discuss with friends etc) are sensible.

However I can't help but have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of the regulations surrounding the disssemination of information on major event trials - where the subject is a matter of considerable public interest - comes down to the old "us and them" between the executive and the proletariat. We can be trusted, but not the public because we are cleverer and beter than they are. They read the Sun.

Mind you, if I would have read the New York Times article, I'm sure I might have been surprised by the quantity and apparent quality of information they were printing. It probably would have left me puzzled and asking "how?" and "why?".

September 03, 2006 12:06 pm  
Anonymous NotSaussure said...

Ham, I think there are two main arguments for the strict controls we have on what can be published before a trial.

The first is that it saves a great deal of argument. Justice has to be seen to be done, and this includes jurors trying the case according to the evidence presented and tested in court, and nothing else . If evidence and speculation are widely published before the trial, it becomes very difficult to be sure that's what people actually are doing, even though they're doing their best so to do. That's why judges warn jurors not to discuss the case with friends and family while it's going on; they warn the jury that they're supposed to reach a collective decision based on what they've heard and, if individuals discuss the case outside the group that raises the danger that their views will be affected, even unconsciously, by something their friend has said about it.

It's one thing when something appears on a foreign website that not that many people are going to read -- that's why I posted the link -- but if we had wall-to-wall newspaper and TV discussion in the run-up to a major trial, it would make it very difficult, I think, safely to run a trial.

Yes, they do have considerable pre-trial comment in the USA, but the US legal system isn't particularly a model for anything and it also has endless jury selection proceedures. I rather worried, when they found a jury panel to try O. J. Simpson all of whom swore they hadn't read much about the case beforehand, about the mental capacity of the jury if that were true.

The second problem with widespread publicity is that you potentially contaminate evidence -- if a witness remembers something he didn't mention in his original witness statement, you want to be sure he actually did remember it and that he didn't, in fact, learn it from somewhere else (even unwittingly).

September 03, 2006 7:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IP blocking is bog standard for this kind of thing. If they didn't do it, then the NYT would be facing contempt of court proceedings in this county - I presume they have some business presence here.

It's a bit like the copy protection on Apple iTunes - if you really want to export the music you burn it to a CD first (which it allows you to do). Apple knows about this, but it's not *their* problem - they want their customers to be happy more than the record companies...

The Anon

September 03, 2006 8:05 pm  
Anonymous NotSaussure said...

A thought occurs. That nice Dr Reid was promising, wasn't he, to introduce yet more anti-terrorist measures as a matter of urgency so as to protect us all from unprecedented threats?

How on earth are they going to debate the need for these without referring to the alleged events that supposedly necessitate these new measures he's busy dreaming up?

September 04, 2006 2:21 am  

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