So the 90 day detention without charge clause has been voted down during the Report Stage of the passage of th eTerrorism Bill 2005 through the House of Commons.
One cheer- hip hip, but no hurrah !
The MPs voted instead to double this period from 14 days to 28 days. The 14 day period only came into force last January 2004.
There simply have been no actual examples given by Home Office Ministers, even from the allegedly professional advice from the senior police officers which justify 90 days, or even 28 days.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke trotted out the "ricin plot" case, alluding to Mohamed Meguerba, the plotter who escaped to Algeria, and who was then either coerced or bribed to give information about the other alleged plotters. Charles Clarke claimed that somehow he would probably have been convicted in the "ricin plot" if he had been held for 90 days. Merguerba has been supposedly jailed for 10 years in Algeria. We use the word "supposedly" because no UK Police etc have been allowed to interview him by the military dictatorship.
However, Labour backbencher Chris Mullins pointed out that this man had been released without charge by the Police, not after 14 days, but after only 2 days.
As we predicted, the professional media commentators have concentrated almost exclusively on this 90 day issue, and the rest of this controversial Bill is of little interest to them
Technorati tag: Terrorism Bill 2005