Suspected Terrorists win legal battle in UK
A nine judge panel of law lords has ruled that control orders used by the UK government authorities denies the suspects a right to a fair trial becuase it relies on secret evidence.
The control order has been used to hold three suspected terrorists under house arrest where they are confined to their homes for up to 16 hours, they are restricted by electronic tagging and their visitors are monitored at all times by Home Security. The suspects say they have no idea why they are being held prisoner, and have not been given any details about of the secret intelligence documents from the authorities.
The ruling does not block the control order but it does represent a win in for the suspects in their ongoing legal battle.
Ruling in favour of the men Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the senior Law Lord on the case, said: "A trial procedure can never be considered fair if a party to it is kept in ignorance of the case against him.
Though many believe the secret measures are unfair, the decision was pushed in part by European Court of Human Rights and an earlier judgment.
Lord Hoffmann said:
"I think that the decision … was wrong and that it may well destroy the system of control orders which is a significant part of this country's defences against terrorism."