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DPP slams secret trials

Director of Public Prosecutions Slams the Use of Secret Trials and Secret Evidence


Ken McDonald, Britain's chief prosecutor, launched a scathing attack on secret courts today. His words will be seen by many as a direct attack on the government, which uses the courts to try terror suspects who cannot get access to the evidence against them. The courts have been castigated by civil rights groups as an affront to justice.

Islam Channel News has an exclusive video and full transcript of Mr. McDonald's speech, which he made to a Law Society gathering this morning, in which he said:

"We should be clear these principles are not negotiable. Whatever the political pressures, whatever the climate, these are the essence of fairness: trials routinely opened and reported before independent and impartial tribunals.

" We don't want secret courts, we don't want vetted judges, we don't want secret justice. Equality of arms; fairness between the Prosecution and the Defence is not negotiable; the right to call and cross-examine witnesses under equal conditions is not negotiable; the right to full disclosure of the State's case against you is not negotiable.

"Defendants are entitled to know what the case against them is, and they're entitled to have material in the possession of the Crown which either undermines the Crown's case or assists the Defence's case. A protected right of appeal is not negotiable.

"And the presumption of innocence, the criminal standard of proof - beyond a reasonable doubt - with the burden of proof resting squarely on the Crown's shoulders, none of that is negotiable."

Please note, there is no embargo on this press release, but Islam Channel News must be credited.

For more information and a full transcript of Mr. McDonald's speech, contact Islam Channel News newsroom and ask for Roshan Muhammed Salih or Sadiya Chowdhury.

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