Friday, May 19, 2006

The Human Rights Act- Upholding Our Liberties Again.

In a previous post I asked for "a single example of where the Human Rights Act or the European Convention on Human Rights have been used to actually protect what reasonable people would regard as fundamental liberties?"

Unsurprisingly no one came up with one. There is however another example of the act being used to let out some more suspects on very dubious grounds.

A judge has accused Grampian Police of tricking suspects to gather evidence against them after an armed robbery.
Since when are police not allowed to 'trick' someone?
Lee Higgins, David Scott and Adam Murphy were freed when their trial at the High Court in Aberdeen collapsed.They were accused of being part of an armed gang which carried out a £100,000 robbery at the Bank of Scotland in Greenwell Road, Aberdeen, last July.Lord Macphail said detectives should not have put two of the men in adjoining cells and listened to them.

So the cunning 'trick' actually involves putting them together and listening in.
Lord Macphail said: "In my opinion the methods used by the police in this case can only be described as a trap.

They weren't entrapped into commiting the offences, they were simply left to speak to each other as they saw fit.

"The trick worked. The accused would not have spoken as they did if they had known that the officers were listening."

That is kind of the point. Why the police should be expected to make life easier for thick suspects is a mystery to those of us who aren't as enlightened as Lord McPhail.

During the trial, advocate depute Peter Hammond, prosecuting, tried to defend the police action by saying the crime was serious, other suspects were still on the run and a large sum of money was missing.Lord Macphail said in a report on Friday that the crime was serious but "regrettably not uncommon".

Yes and but it is likely to be less uncommon when sleazy judges like Lord McPhail do their best to enable [alleged] armed robbers to go free. But why should a legal demigod concern himself with such trifles as gangs of bandits on the loose?
"It is clear that the police subterfuge in this case was a form of covert surveillance," the judge concluded.
Standing at the end of a corridor in a police station is 'covert surveillance' spare me. So the list of Human Rights now includes the right not to be eavesdropped upon.

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