"Kassim had carried out hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of unauthorised checks on police computers."
However, he has only been charged with and been found guilty of "three charges of misconduct in a public office".
What is going on ? If, as is reported, he
"had searched on an intelligence system for details of Abu Hamza, the former preacher at Finsbury Park mosque in north London, whom the US is trying to extradite"
Given the infiltration of the Saudia Arabian police and intelligence agancies by Al Quaeda sympathisers so eveident last year, Kassim should have been charged under the Terrorism Act section 58 Collection of Information
Knowing exactly what the Police do or do not know about a terrorist suspect like Abu Hamza, definately constitutes "a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism". It is actually hard to imagine any information which could be more useful to a terrorist suspect or organisation.
Police National Computer and Intelligence Databases are Protectively Marked material under the Official Secrets Act. Why was there no prosecution under this Act ?
There has obviously been a massive failure in management and security auditing procedures regarding "hundreds or thousands" of unauthorised access to these computer systems.
The reported words of the prosecutor also seem to miss the point
"Happily it is right to say there is no indication that anyone came to harm."
Just because the people like the prominent Saudi dissident Muhammad al-Massari, being targeted by al-Shamarani and Kassim have not been harmed yet does not excuse the breach of their human right to privacy, data protecion and official secrets laws. London has a history of foreign dissidents or their families being persecuted by Middle Eastern governments.
We would hope that Kassim is sentenced to the maximum jail term possible, and that heads roll amongst the Metropolitan Police management for allowing such abuses to occur in the first place.
This case further destroys public trust in the confidentiality of police computer systems and in the planned biometric National Identity Register and ID Card database.