We were hoping to read the exact wording of the Home Secretary Charles Clarke's revised wording of "glorification" and "indirect incitement", hoping it might be found on the newly re-designed Home Office website. (why does this "new design" still persist in using a web bug to track visitors to the Home Office website via a commercial third party web advertisong statstics company ? Surely the UK Government should have developed the expertise by now, to analyse their own web server statistics)
Annoyingly, but unsurprisingly, the Home Office spin machine has, yet again, just not bothered to inform the public directly of their "news" via the world wide web.
We were also hoping to read the justification for extending the period of detention without trial under the Terrorism Act from 14 days maximum to 3 months.
These Scotland Yard statistics, according to the media reports, allegedly show that 14 days detention without trial has been used rarely, and has always resulted in charges being brought. How then, is this any kind of justification for extending this period to 3 months ?
The Metropolitan Police study was apparently handed out to the usual media suspects today, but, of course, it is not available on the Home Office's website either.
However, according to the Associated Press:
"'Clarke papers 'put trials in doubt'
Home Secretary Charles Clarke has committed a serious gaffe which could endanger some of the most high-profile terrorist prosecutions yet seen in Britain.
In a bid to win backing for new terror powers he distributed a seven-page Scotland Yard document which contained details of three terrorist cases which are currently sub-judice.
If any terrorist trials have to be abandoned because of this cock up, the Home Secretary Charles Clarke should resign.
The contents of the case studies cannot be repeated in full because they would amount to contempt of court. But they included details of evidence against a number of defendants and their behaviour in police interviews.
One of the cases highlighted by Scotland Yard has been described by a senior legal source as the biggest terror prosecution ever mounted in the UK.
The Met's briefing note was drawn up by Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman, who is in charge of the anti-terrorist branch, in a bid to explain why police need powers to detain terror suspects for up to three months before charge.
Asked why they had issued a document which could potentially endanger the prosecutions, a Home Office spokesman said: "The Metropolitan Police are responsible for that document.
"The Met have assured us that they intended this document for public consumption. We can only, therefore, presume that the Met have cleared it legally."
The Home Office distributed the Met's document to MPs, peers and journalists. Headings of each case study stated "This case is sub judice and it would therefore be inappropriate to release further details" but then went on to include information banned from publication ahead of a trial by the 1981 Contempt of Court Act."
Note how the "Home Office spokesman" is slimily trying to shift any possible blame onto the Metropolitan Police !
Why didn't the Home Office check this document itself before releasing it ? Was this a proper Civil Servant "spokesman" or was it a NuLabour political commissar ?