Jury Trial Victory
Police and prosecutors were locked in crisis meetings last night after what they believed to be the strongest terrorism case ever presented to a court was rejected by a jury. ..
The outcome of the case will be seen as a severe blow to Britain’s anti-terrorist effort.
The jury’s indecision in the face of a detailed Crown case raises questions about the public perception of the terror threat that could undermine government attempts to introduce further security legislation.
The Crown Prosecution Service indicated that it was likely to seek the retrial ....even though the jury at Woolwich Crown Court convicted three of the eight defendants of conspiracy to murder.
Prosecutors met to discuss their options amid concern that the jury could not decide on a separate charge specifying that airliners had been the targets of that conspiracy.
The jurors also failed to reach verdicts on serious terrorist charges against four other men...Another defendant, described in court as a shadowy figure with terrorist connections, was acquitted of all charges and cannot be retried.
The jurors deliberated for 52 hours, but their discussions were disrupted by a two-week holiday, frequent sickness breaks and other commitments.
Scotland Yard refrained from comment last night, but the senior officers of their disappointment over the outcome of the case.
Andy Hayman, former assistant commissioner for special operations, said: “This was one of our strongest cases – there will have to be an intensive debrief. But now is not the time for that, now is the time to prepare for retrials.”
Do you get the feeling the jury is getting the blame here, that they are being portrayed as unpatriotic, unreliable and almost too stupid to understand the importance of rubberstamping the Police's suspicions? Thank goodness that juries don't, thank goodness they weigh the evidence and aren't swept along with the hysteria. Maybe the suspects were innocent of the charges, maybe the evidence just wasn't there, maybe the police and CPS despite having spent £10 million didn't put together a good enough case. Maybe they should look at their own failings and join me in celebrating the independence of the jury and its central role in protecting us from injustice. Because if it is prepared to let off "shadowy" brown people with "links to terrorism" because it looked at the evidence presented rather than the insinuations then there continues to be hope for us all.