Old Bailey terror trial collapses after prosecution offers no evidence
A terrorism trial taking place at the Central Criminal Court collapsed yesterday after the prosecution told the court that there was no longer a reasonable prospect of a prosecution. The defendant, Swedish national Bherlin Gildo, was accused of possessing terrorist information, attending a terrorist training camp and receiving weapons training.
Gildo’s defence team argued that the groups he was accused of supporting in Syria were the same groups that had received support from British intelligence agencies.
Henry Blaxland QC told the court:
“If it is the case that HM government was actively involved in supporting armed resistance to the Assad regime at a time when the defendant was present in Syria and himself participating in such resistance, it would be unconscionable to allow the prosecution to continue.
If government agencies, of which the prosecution is a part, are themselves involved in the use of force, in whatever way, it is our submission that would be an affront to justice to allow the prosecution to continue.”
Terrorism Arrest and Prosecutions in Doubt
The collapse of the case will have huge implications for the police in making arrests under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act. According to investigative research blog UndercoverInfo, an example is the David Miranda case.
Following the Gildo case, UndercoverInfo says the arrest of people supporting militias that the British Government overtly or tacitly support may be unlikely.