Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Another miscarriage of justice averted by brave jury: Alleged "7/7 helpers" cleared and found Not Guilty

"Injustice upon injustice, many others in a similar position || have not been so lucky."

-- Lawyer, Imran Khan

The second trial of the so-called "7/7 helpers" reached its conclusion today. Waheed Ali, 25, Sadeer Saleem, 28, and Mohammed Shakil, 32, were all cleared of the charges of assisting in 7/7 at Kingston Crown Court. After nearly seven days of deliberation a jury of seven men and five women cleared the 3 accused of helping to plan the events of 7th July 2005.

The not guilty verdict comes as little surprise given the QC for the prosecution, Neil Flewitt, was reduced to admitting that the case centred on purely circumstantial evidence, circumstantial evidence which he alleged created a compelling picture of guilt. Aside from perhaps wondering when circumstantial evidence suddenly become "a compelling picture of guilt", the brave jury appears to have thought the "compelling picture" was far from conclusive.

The prosecution failed to do so much as produce CCTV footage which purported to show the three men on the alleged "hostile reconnaissance mission" and, furthermore, no proof, nor even any evidence, was produced to support the notion that the accused had even been on the underground during the sightseeing visit to London.

Andy Hayman, the former Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police -- who was forced to resign from his senior position with the police ranks after various improprieties came to light about his claiming large amounts of cash in expenses for trips abroad with a woman police sergeant -- said:

"The end of this trial probably represents the last throw of the dice for the police investigation into 7/7. It is extremely frustrating to reach this milestone knowing that people who aided and abetted the murders of 52 innocent people remain at large. || But at the end of that investigation the evidence that could be put before the court was largely circumstantial. That was the only evidence that was found because, perhaps, that was the only evidence there was to be found."

A report on the verdict by the BBC suggests that the decision "raises questions about the evidence gathered in one of the largest investigations ever run by Scotland Yard." In the almost four years that have passed since 7/7, the State has touted a factually inaccurate and twice amended Official Report issued by the Home Office, questionable investigative tactics by the police, and a prosecution brought by the Crown Prosecution Service on the basis of what was known to be purely circumstantial evidence.

Following the verdicts lawyer Imran Khan issued a statement on behalf of Sadeer Saleem, calling for an inquiry into why the prosecution was brought. J7 fully support Sadeer Saleem's call for an inquiry into why this prosecution was brought. Video below courtesy of the BBC.

J7 also fully supports the demand by the bereaved for fully open and public inquests for the victims to be held immediately, before the new Coroners and Justice bill passes through Parliament.

Reporting restrictions that were imposed on the trial have now been lifted and J7 expect further information to be revealed about the trial proceedings, the events alleged to have occurred on 7/7, and the wealth of links and interconnections between various alleged terror plots and individuals.

When considered in conjunction with the lies told in the ongoing attempts to cover up the hitherto unknown truth about various events in July 2005, including 7/7, 21/7 and the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes, today's verdict raises yet more questions about the behaviour of the government, police and 'security' services. More recently we have witnessed: The rioting police brutality tactics that led to the death of Ian Tomlinson at the London G20 protests, complete with a stream of lies from the police, the IPCC and even the coroners; and the high-profile, armed mass-arrests of 12 Pakistani students against whom the most compelling piece of evidence appeared to be a bag of sugar, all of whom were eventually released without charge and immediately threatened with deportation.

Consequently, one might begin to suspect that the UK has fallen victim to something of a dictatorial State in which any and all members of the general public are guilty, to be held accountable until they can prove themselves innocent, while provably mendacious and guilty public officials are barely even challenged, much less ever justly held to account for their actions.

For updates on the verdict as they happen, please see the J7 People's Investigation Forum thread.

J7 again reiterates its call for an independent public inquiry, to be held outside of the remit of the shameful Inquiries Act 2005, and once again calls on the government and police to Release the Evidence which they continue to claim provides "a compelling picture of guilt" for those that stand accused of being responsible for the events of 7th July 2005.

Please show your support for J7's campaign for truth and justice and sign the J7 Release The Evidence petition.

1 comment:

Sinclair said...

It is worth noting that the original charge levied against Ali, Shakil & Saleem (as detailed in the Metropolitan Police Service Press Statement of Saturday, April 7, 2007) was:
Waheed ALI [23 years] [formerly known as Shipon Ullah], recently living in Tower Hamlets Mohammed SHAKILl [30 years] from Beeston, West Yorkshire Sadeer SALEEM [26 years] from Beeston, West Yorkshire appear at City of Westminster Magistrates Court at 10:00 on 7/4/07 charged: = between 1.11.04 - 29.6.05 unlawfully and maliciously conspired with Mohammed Siddique KHAN, Shezhad TANWEER, Jermaine LINDSAY, Hasib HUSSEIN and others to cause by explosive substance on the Transport for London system and/or tourist attractions in London of a nature likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. Contrary to section 3(1)(a) of the Explosive Substances Act 1883. '

Note that the dates cited did not include the 7th July 2005, nor did this original charge include any reference to 'conspiracy to attend training camps' (allegedly the offense which led to their arrest at Manchester Airport in March 2007!) and the charge under which 2 of the 3 have now been found guilty.

A FOI Request to the Met Police revealed that the end-date quoted in the single charge was then changed from the 29th June 2005 to the 8th July 2005 at a subsequent Court hearing at the request of the CPS.

In Trial No. 1, the charge on the court indictment was:
conspiracy to cause by explosive substance an explosion to endanger lives, or likely to cause serious injury to persons or damage property in the UKOn 1st August 2008, the jury (after 14 days of deliberations) were unable to reach a verdict, even after being allowed to return a majority verdict).

A re-trial then ensued, commencing in January 2009, with the following court indictment charges:

'conspiracy to cause an explosion of a nature likely to endanger lives, or cause serious injury to persons or damage property in the UK'&

'conspiring to attend a place used for terrorist training, knowing or believing that instruction or training would be provided there wholly or partly for purposes connected with the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism'
It seems that the CPS were hell-bent in prosecuting these 3, but that they went about it in a cack-handed way.