barbara tucker appeared at horseferry road magistrates court this morning to answer a charge of 'obstructing a police officer in the course of their duty' arising from events which were apparently not captured on cctv at charing cross station when steve jago accompanied her for a bail hearing relating to an alleged 'obstruction of the highway' outside downing street on the afternoon of the big 'stop the war coalition' demo on august 5th.
the court hearing was short. the crown prosecution service were asked to explain why barbara and steve were being tried separately for events which were clearly linked. not only the magistrates, but even the court clerk said that it should obviously be a joint hearing. the cps alleged that the main reason was because barbara tucker needed psychiatric assessment. this was a further shocking abuse of process. it was completely wrong to mention this in open court after police had been forced to record 'no further action' on barbara's file after failing to show any good reason to submit her to a mental health assessment on saturday ( http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/10/353554.html). the magistrate adjourned the case and set a date for a pretrial review in two weeks time and after steve jago's case tomorrow morning. it is likely steve's case will also be adjourned in order to be treated jointly although the cps will press for separate hearings. check indymedia for further news of that outcome.
in the meantime, the harassment continues.
steve jago, who was staying over at parliament square tonight in support of brian haw, set off to trafalgar square to get a pizza. he was stopped opposite downing street by two 'ministry of defence' constables. they wanted to search him under section 44 (the terrorism act). he asked them what reasonable suspicion they had, and they claimed they didn't need any. he refused the search until they give him some reasonable reply, and they called an inspector (mod inspector coleman - although he unlawfully refused to identify himself to steve at the time) who said "arrest him". steve was taken to charing cross police station where they then conducted a search, but they didn't give him any stop and search form, and instead claimed that the search was now on 'police and criminal evidence' grounds. he was 'reported for possible summons' for willfully obstructing a search (terrorism).
barbara had gone up to charing cross to try and find out what was happening, and the two of them were then followed my more police while they went and got their pizza before returning to the square.
and on and on and on.
Search of persons.
43. - (1) A constable may stop and search a person whom he reasonably suspects to be a terrorist to discover whether he has in his possession anything which may constitute evidence that he is a terrorist.
(2) A constable may search a person arrested under section 41 to discover whether he has in his possession anything which may constitute evidence that he is a terrorist.
(3) A search of a person under this section must be carried out by someone of the same sex.
(4) A constable may seize and retain anything which he discovers in the course of a search of a person under subsection (1) or (2) and which he reasonably suspects may constitute evidence that the person is a terrorist.
(5) A person who has the powers of a constable in one Part of the United Kingdom may exercise a power under this section in any Part of the United Kingdom.
Power to stop and search
44. - (1) An authorisation under this subsection authorises any constable in uniform to stop a vehicle in an area or at a place specified in the authorisation and to search-
(a) the vehicle;
(b) the driver of the vehicle;
(c) a passenger in the vehicle;
(d) anything in or on the vehicle or carried by the driver or a passenger.
(2) An authorisation under this subsection authorises any constable in uniform to stop a pedestrian in an area or at a place specified in the authorisation and to search-
(a) the pedestrian;
(b) anything carried by him.
(3) An authorisation under subsection (1) or (2) may be given only if the person giving it considers it expedient for the prevention of acts of terrorism.
(4) An authorisation may be given-
(a) where the specified area or place is the whole or part of a police area outside Northern Ireland other than one mentioned in paragraph (b) or (c), by a police officer for the area who is of at least the rank of assistant chief constable;
(b) where the specified area or place is the whole or part of the metropolitan police district, by a police officer for the district who is of at least the rank of commander of the metropolitan police;
(c) where the specified area or place is the whole or part of the City of London, by a police officer for the City who is of at least the rank of commander in the City of London police force;
(d) where the specified area or place is the whole or part of Northern Ireland, by a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary who is of at least the rank of assistant chief constable.
(5) If an authorisation is given orally, the person giving it shall confirm it in writing as soon as is reasonably practicable.