Skip to comments.Hamza: Cleric sent gangs to seize control of rival mosques (police refused to help moderate Muslims)
Posted on 02/08/2006 6:18:17 PM PST by Stultis
So Europe has all ready surrendered
CPS twice refused to prosecute Abu Hamza
By John Steele, Crime Correspondent and George Jones
Police twice formally asked prosecutors to consider terrorist charges against Abu Hamza in the seven years before he stood trial, it emerged yesterday as Tories called for a judicial inquiry into why he was not prosecuted earlier.
The Crown Prosecution Service twice decided there was "clearly insufficient" evidence to prosecute the radical Muslim cleric.
But the two "advice files" submitted by Scotland Yard to the CPS - in March 1999 and June 2003 - focused on suspected links between Hamza and Yemeni terrorists who kidnapped western hostages, killing four, including three Britons, in December 1998.
Police did not send the CPS any copies of inflammatory speeches by Hamza, which they seized in 1999 in their Yemen inquiry but handed back to him, and which subsequently formed the basis of charges on which he was convicted this week.
Nor, according to admissions agreed between the Crown and Hamza's lawyers in his trial, was Hamza questioned about the speeches in 1999.
Anti-terrorist sources have admitted that the question of whether Hamza's hate-filled rants amounted to criminal offences was not high among police priorities in 1999.
The second formal advice file, in June 2003, was the result of a review of the first Scotland Yard Yemen inquiry of 1999, and included material from a Hamza-linked website which allegedly showed his support for the kidnappers.
Last night, the Tories said a judge should be asked to find out why it took so long to prosecute 47-year-old Hamza.
David Davis, the Conservative home affairs spokesman, said it appeared that the only reason that charges of inciting murder and racial hatred were brought was because the United States had sought Hamza's extradition in 2004.
The Americans want him to face trial over his alleged conspiracy with the Yemeni kidnappers. US citizens were among the hostages.
It is understood that Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, made clear to police and prosecutors in 2004 - as the controversy over the suspects held by the US in Guantanmo Bay went on - that he would prefer a trial of Hamza in Britain, if the evidence justified it.
The Tories also want to know whether the police and security services were hampered by a lack of will in the Government to tackle Islamic extremism in "Londonistan".
Police have pointed out that dissident Irish terrorism was still the major threat at that time.
A joint statement yesterday by the CPS and Scotland Yard made clear that Hamza was eventually prosecuted on a third "advice file" from police which centred on recordings of inflammatory speeches inciting followers to kill Jews and non-believers, which was sent to the CPS "in batches" from 2003 onwards.
The CPS eventually decided to prosecute him in October 2004, by which time he was in custody on the US extradition warrant. The material in the Old Bailey trial came from three police seizures - two in police anti-terror operations 2003 and a third in May 2004 - when Hamza was arrested on the US extradition warrant and his home was searched. The collection of speeches and "sermons" included those handed back to him in 1999.
As well as the submission of the three formal "advice files", it is understood that informal legal advice was sought by police on whether Hamza's rabble-rousing speeches on the street outside Finsbury Park Mosque - from which he was ousted in January 2003 - amounted to criminal activity.
It is understood the advice was that these "sermons" did not reach the threshold for a criminal prosecution. Sources said there were problems with obtaining accurate records of the words said and proof that he said them.
In the joint statement yesterday, Sue Hemming, the head of the CPS's counter-terrorist division, and deputy assistant commissioner Peter Clarke, the head of Scotland Yard anti-terrorist branch, said: "The submissions relating to the Yemen and website allegations were carefully and thoroughly reviewed by experienced senior prosecutors and in both cases there was clearly insufficient evidence for a prosecution."
When the third, speech-related, file was submitted, "there was sufficient evidence and the case has been prosecuted successfully".
Some reports have claimed Hamza was an influence on the July 7 suicide bombers. However, Scotland Yard said there was no evidence for this.
Tony Blair yesterday demanded that the Tories drop their opposition to proposed new laws banning the glorification of terrorism. He told the Commons that the vast majority of Muslims in Britain "completely abhor" protests glorifying violence. Mr Davis challenged No 10's claims that adequate laws were not available to prosecute those inciting murder or racial hated. He said six of Abu Hamza's convictions were under the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, three under the 1986 Public Order Act and only the least important charge was under the Terror Act 2000.
Infighting now. Get the popcorn.
So Europe has all ready surrendered.
It's no better here. Look at all the editors hiding under their desks out of fear.
I'm not so sure. The cartoon scandal may have awakened europe just in time to save it. We'll have to see how this plays out, but we may see the backlash in coming months and years.
Hope you are right DG. Though so too until I saw the UN/EU plan to APOLOGISE to the Islamo Rioters!
Words to remember.
In any event, the cartoon riots will raise some national awareness again in europe, and that's not a bad thing.
Presuming he's found guilty, of course.
Thanks DG I was really getting disgusted with what I was reading. Guess I should know better then to take the junk journalists seriously.
It's really hard not to take the junk journalists seriously. The information that refutes them is not blasted in our faces every day.
They're not always wrong, and they're usually right on factual reporting on disasters or other actual incidents. Little credible evidence that disputes their reporting on those types of things ever emerges from any source.
But on political issues, both domestically and abroad, it's a totally different story. It's what they report and how they report it. If it doesn't sound right, it probably isn't. It may take some digging to find out the real story, but FR generally will have already done that for you before you start.
That's the power of this forum.
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