Terror suspect freed from control order

Author: By Tom Morgan, Press Association

The suspect, known only as AE, had his conditions revoked in the wake of a
House of Lords ruling that people subject to such restrictions must be given
details of the allegations they face.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson then ordered a review of the control orders regime
for terror suspects as critics claimed it was “unravelling”.

A Home Office spokesman said the decision to revoke control orders against AE
– had “nothing to do” with the Lords’ decision however.

He added: “As the Government has made clear on numerous occasions, when
dealing with suspected terrorists prosecution is – and will continue to be –
our preferred approach.

“Where we cannot prosecute, and the individual concerned is a foreign
national, we look to detain and then deport them. For those we cannot either
prosecute or deport, our assessment has been that control orders are the
best available disruptive tool for managing the risk they pose.

“The revocation of AE’s control order does not change this assessment.”

AE is the second suspect to have restrictions lifted since the Lords’ decision.

Campaigner Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: “When is enough
finally enough with the embarrassment of control orders?

“The new Home Secretary should not be trapped by the mistakes of his
predecessors and vested interests of advisors. Yes he could let the system
die quietly by a thousand cuts but how much better to show real leadership
and put his faith in fair prosecutions and the rule of law.”

Suspected terrorists placed under an order face restrictions on where they can
live and who they can see.

Some orders place suspects under curfew or require them to wear an electronic
tag.

They were brought in four years ago after indefinite detention was ruled
unlawful. But in June the Law Lords decided suspects must be told about the
secret evidence used against them.

Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, the independent reviewer of terror laws, is now
assessing whether or not the system is still “viable”.

The Home Office spokesman added: “In June 2009 the House of Lords ruled that
individuals subject to control orders must be given sufficient disclosure
about the case against them to enable them to give effective instructions to
their legal representatives.

“Where this disclosure cannot be made for the protection of the public
interest, including our national security, we may be forced to revoke
control orders even where we consider those orders to be necessary to
protect the public from a risk of terrorism.

“In such circumstances we will take all steps necessary to protect the public.
The police and Security Service seek to investigate and monitor the
activities of those believed to pose a threat to national security.”

Anyone placed under an order without knowing the basis for it was being denied
a fair hearing, the court said.

Following the judgment, one man, known as AF – who has joint British and
Libyan citizenship – had his order revoked amid suggestions the policy had
been fatally undermined.

Five control orders were revoked between June 11 and September 10, including
AF’s – but his was the only one directly linked to the court judgment, Mr
Johnson said.

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