Sunday, September 16, 2007

Defeating terror the British way

"Due process and the rule of law have protected us for centuries. They should not be sacrificed now. That is why the government should explore a number of changes which will make it easier to bring terror suspects to British courts: allowing the Crown Prosecution Service to bring charges even when there is a delay in producing all the evidence; the use of postcharge questioning, with appropriate safeguards, when there is a need to obtain further information. The use of 'plea-bargaining' should be used more in terrorism cases so that suspects on the edge of terror plots are encouraged to provide intelligence on terror masterminds. Intercept evidence should be made admissible in court.

"Taken together these measures would represent a powerful strengthening of our ability to bring terrorists to justice. They go with the grain of our own legal traditions and safeguards and would avoid a fruitless parliamentary spat on the further extension of the 28-day period during which suspects can be held without charge. The fact that Gordon Brown is determined to make this the centrepiece of his antiterror package, without producing compelling evidence of its necessity, suggests he is just as susceptible to political grandstanding on terrorism as his predecessor." —Nick Clegg MP

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