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ZANU- Labour

Hildy Johnson | 28.11.2008 17:22 | Repression | Social Struggles | Birmingham | South Coast

Two days after ZANU-Labours case against a journalist for ´suspicion of aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office´ collapses a member of the Shadow Cabinet is arrested by 9 anti-terrorism officers for the same offence. What exactly is going on here?

In Moscow, she (Anna Politkovskaya) was not invited to press conferences or gatherings that Kremlin officials might attend, in case the organizers were suspected of harboring sympathies toward her. Despite this, many top officials allegedly talked to her when she was writing articles or conducting investigations. According to one of her articles, they did talk to her, "but only when they weren't likely to be observed: outside in crowds, or in houses that they approached by different routes, like spies".[4] She also claimed that the Kremlin tried to block her access to information and discredit her:[4]

On Tues 26 Nov a judge was forced to drop the states case against Sally Murrer, a journalist with the Milton Keynes Citizen and her police source Mark Kearney. It was this case that inspired the headlines about the illegal bugging of conversations between Labour MP Sadiq Ahmed and his unfortunate constituent Babar Ahmed*. The judge was forced by law to dismiss the evidence against the pair because the methods used had seriously impinged on the journalists human rights.
*On August 5, 2004, Ahmad was arrested on an extradition warrant from the United States under the Extradition Act 2003 in South Kensington. [11] The US extradition warrant states their case claims offenses are alleged to have occurred on UK soil, relating to fund-raising for Chechen and Taliban.As of September 2007, no evidence of suspect activity has been credited by either nation, although since 2004 he has been imprisoned without trial or charge by British authorities. He is awaiting possible extradition to America. Britain will not extradite Ahmad unless the United States guarantees they will not seek the death penalty.
According to the Times “Ms Murrer was interviewed under caution on seven occasions. The home where she lives with her three children was searched by eight Thames Valley police officers while another four searched the newspaper office where she works three days each week. She placed her daughter in a boarding school after being told by police she was going to jail”
Gavin Millar QC told the court: "The measures used by Thames Valley Police against Sally Murrer are familiar in authoritarian states where the police are used to discourage the media from reporting on issues of public interest using confidential sources.”.

Just 2 days after the collapse of this case Shadow Home Office Minister, Damian Green has been arrested under suspicion of committing the same offence. Mr Green was arrested by anti-terror officers, held for nine hours and had his two homes and offices searched as part of a Home Office leak inquiry. As to why officers working the terrorism watch were used, since the search was conducted under PACE legislation and not anti-terror, this is either designed to warn civil servants off from any further leaks or possibly as a way to gain access to the MP´s office at Whitehall.

According to the BBC The Lib Dems have called shadow immigration minister Damian Green's arrest a "mayday warning" for democracy amid cross-party anger over the move.

This is serious stuff and it is not time to let go of this because some snotty Tory MP has been nicked. Whether these two cases represent scare tactics or Brown and his thugs in the Met are getting ready to lockdown the question. Even if the former applies it is surely not long before it will be necessary to adopt the latter strategy. It may alternatively be a strategy to test public opinion before round ups of politicians and other dissenters become routine. In both cases the State has gone far beyond its legitimate remit.

Hildy Johnson


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  1. ive heard this before somewhere? — Jimbo