In October 2013, Scotland Yard counter-terrorism forces and MI5 made joint coordinated raids on three sites in London, and captured four people.
Witnesses to the counterterrorism raids on London streets said the raids provided quite the scene.
The man who witnessed the arrest on Westbourne Grove – a street lined with restaurants and shops in Notting Hill – said what unfolded was "quite a scene".
George Paul, 30, who saw the incident, said: “The man was shouting something like, ‘Please don’t break my arms, please don’t hurt me.’ He was cuffed-up and pushed up against the front of the restaurant. There was a lot of shouting from people, but some of them might have been passers-by.”Two of the men had been arrested after the wheels of their automobile had been blown off.
The two men dragged out of the car after the use of “Hatton Rounds” – large shotgun ammunition used to stop vehicles and blow the hinges off doors – by officers in Mansell Street, Whitechapel, east London were British nationals of Turkish and Algerian descent.Two of the captured people were released a week later. Two others were charged, but with their names held in secret.
Both are charged with possession of a computer file including information on bomb making, and one is also charged with preparing a terrorist act.
Unusually, a judge made an order barring reporting of their names to protect the security of an ongoing investigation.
2 men arrested in London appear in court charged with terrorism offenses, Associated Press
These two are presumably the subject of a recent court decision that the core of their trial may be held in secret. But that parts of the trial will be open.
File this one away in the “what were they thinking” category. Today, the Guardian reports that a British appeals court has blocked an attempt by UK prosecutors to hold an entire criminal trial in secret. In Guardian News Media v. AB, CD, Prosecutors claimed that the sensitivity of the terrorism-related charges necessitated that the trial be held in private without publication of court opinions or orders and that the names of the defendants, who until today had been referred to only as “AB” and “CD”, be withheld from the public. Had the lower court’s decision be upheld, the trail would have been the UK’s first criminal trial held entirely in secret.The media variously headlines the court decision that parts of the trial may be reported, either as a glass half empty
- UK court says terror trial can be partly secret, Associated Press.
- UK court approves secret terror trial, Sky News Australia.
- Core of terror trial to be secret, The Star.
or as a glass half full.
- Fully secret terror trial blocked by Court of Appeal, BBC.
- Judges block attempt to hold Britain’s first secret criminal trial, Reuters.
- Key elements of secret terror trial can be heard in public, court rules, Guardian
- British Court Blocks All-Secret Trial For Terrorism Suspects, NPR
The following portions and parts of portions of the trial will be open:
i) Swearing in of the jury.Secret parts of the trial seem to include anything the defense would say. The court has seen material that makes them think the prosecution would not proceed, if the material were thus to become known.
ii) Reading the charges to the Jury.
iii) At least a part of the Judge’s introductory remarks to the Jury.
iv) At least a part of the Prosecution opening.
v) The verdicts.
vi) If any convictions result, sentencing (subject to any further argument before the trial Judge as to the need for a confidential annex).”
We are persuaded on the evidence before us that there is a significant risk – at the very least, a serious possibility – that the administration of justice would be frustrated were the trial to be conducted in open Court; for what appears to be good reason on the material we have seen, the Crown might be deterred from continuing with the prosecution.The decision is here.