The "Climate of Fear" media spin seems to be continuing even in the run up to the General Election.
One expects better from the BBC, who claim to provide balanced and fair news coverage, but who manage to misleadingly report that:
"Man guilty of poison conspiracy
A suspected al-Qaeda operative who stabbed to death a police officer has been convicted of plotting to spread poisons on the streets of Britain.
Kamel Bourgass is serving a life sentence after being convicted of murdering Detective Constable Stephen Oake during a 2003 raid in Manchester.
Reporting restrictions covering that conviction were lifted on Wednesday."
The practice of blanket "reporting restrictions" for the media when so many people are linked to the Internet is a nonsense, and should be made illegal.
By all means restrict the names of witnesses, the accused, intelligence sources, sequester the jury in a particular case etc. if necessary.
The UK Criminal Justice System should not try to hide the time, date and location of a trial on serious charges or the "not guilty" verdicts of a previous trial which finished last week.
Justice has to be seen to be done fairly, and holding secret trials should not be allowed to happen in the United Kingdom.
The BBC report manages to include unsubstantiated spin nonsensical details, which were obviously not actually what Bourgass was convicted of, like
"Police believe Bourgass was an al-Qaeda operative and say he had discussed various ways of spreading nicotine poison, including smearing it on car door handles in the Holloway Road area of north London."
What about the most important detail of all ? Despite all the hype, no detectable traces, i.e. not even microscopic amounts, of Ricin toxin were actually discovered, according to the US report we commnted on yesterday.
It also seems doubtful that the amateur "recipes" downloaded off the internet would have been successful in extracting ricin from castor beans, which contain small quantities of it.
If there had been evidence of large amounts of castor beans or castor bean pulp waste product from the castor oil extraction industry, one might have been impressed, but, apparently, the Police found only 21 castor beans in the flat which was alleged to have been some sort of "laboratory" in Wood Green, London.
Obviously Bourgass is a dangerous criminal, who managed to stab 4 policeman, killing one of them during the bungled raid in Manchester when he was arrested, but during which he was apparently not properly secured, even after police had been on the scene for over an hour.
That does not make this case evidence of Al-Queda chemical or biological weapons terrorism, as was hyped by the media and "police sources" and by politicians in the run up to the war on Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, something which the BBC seems to be perpetuating even now.
"He was convicted of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance by the use of poisons and/or explosives to cause disruption, fear or injury."
By definition, how is it possible to be convicted of conspiracy, all on your own ?
Why was he not charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 or the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act of 2001 ?
Presumably there was no evidence to prove that Bourgass was actually an "Al-Quaeds operative" or else he could have been charged with membership of a proscribed terrorist group.