I stopped in my tracks the other day on Borough High Street when I saw a poster from Liberty telling me the UK detains terrorist suspects longer than anywhere in the western world. Not because I was shocked at the apparent lack of freedom here, but at the slackness and irresponsibility of this campaign.

I would vote against a further extension of detention, were I in Parliament. But I’m fed up with people citing spurious factoids from http://www.gooakley.com/ foreign jurisdictions in this debate, and I strongly agree with David Aaronovitch in yesterday’s Times that Liberty are being economical with the actualit√© on this. Tellingly, he cites the case of the people detained in Italy in connection with Meredith Kercher’s murder. How long has that been, now?

The same point can equally be made about France, where terrorist suspects can be held for three days without access to a lawyer; have the right to see their lawyer (who isn’t told details of the evidence) for half and hour only on each of the fourth, fifth and sixth days; and who can then be detained for up to four years before trial on the basis of a lower evidential test than is required for a charge in England. I reckon the French test works more like the threshold test I blogged about yesterday.

And it’s not just me and David Aaronovitch. The Home Affairs Committee recently accepted the government’s argument on this, and that Liberty are not comparing like with like.

2017-03-20T10:35:36+00:00Tags: , , , |