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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Control orders

Home Office plans to expand control orders to those suspected of money laundering, fraud, drugs and human trafficking must be worrying for anybody concerned about the integrity of the British justice system. It is not that we should not be seeking to curb such activities, just that we must have proper evidence and ensure due process if we are to properly suppress it.

There is another issue of course, whether these control orders actually work. The present terrorist control orders have been dogged by problems since their introduction two years ago. There are three terrorist suspects already on the run - the third having absconded this month. Without proper police resources and sanctions there is no point having such orders in the first place.

My concern is that the Government is by-passing the proper legal processes. People will have their liberties curtailed on evidence and suspicions that would not normally stand up in court. There are enough miscarriages of justice already without them being added to in this way.

If the Government want to deal with money laundering, fraud, drugs and human trafficking then they must give the law enforcement agencies more resources and allow wire-tap evidence to be admissable in court. At the moment all they are achieving is to hasten our progress towards a police state.

And weren't we promised that wouldn't happen?

Thankfully there's at least the LibDems pointing this out.
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