Last month’s revelation that an entire trial of two suspects to be charged with terrorist offences was to be held in secret exposes once again the growing lawlessness within the British ruling elite.
In a chilling, top-secret judgement befitting a police state dictatorship issued on May 19, which only became public due to an appeal lodged by theGuardian and other newspapers, it was ruled that the trial could take place in total secrecy, with the identity of the two suspects concealed. No journalists were to be permitted to cover the trial, nor even to report on its existence.
Then on June 4, as part of the appeals court review, it was ruled that the media could report on the trial’s existence. A week later, the appeals court instructed the names of the suspects to be released and that parts of the trial would be held in public. Erol Incedal and Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjir will now be tried for offences under the Terrorism Act 2006 and Terrorism Act 2000 in October.
The appeals court judgement was generally hailed as a great victory for the rule of law, but it was nothing of the sort. The so-called compromise to allow parts of the trial to be held openly amounts to little more than window-dressing, given that all of the evidence in the case will be presented in secret. Moreover, the parts to be held in public will be confined largely to the opening formalities of swearing in the jury, reading the charges to the defendants and the judge’s opening statement, as well as an unspecified portion of the prosecutor’s initial remarks.
Regardless of such token gestures, nothing can take away from the fact that a senior high court judge in a country hailed for its ostensible commitment to the rule of law was prepared to permit a criminal prosecution to proceed behind closed doors.