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Jury unanimously finds Parveen and Zahid Sharif not guilty

The acquittal of Parveen Sharif and her brother Zahid has still not answered many of the questions which surround this unusual case.

According to the Reuters report:

Jury clears siblings of UK's first suicide bomber
28 Nov 2005 14:44:08 GMT

Source: Reuters

By Michael Holden

LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - The brother and sister of a British would-be suicide bomber were cleared by a court on Monday of failing to tell police their brother planned to take part in an attack that killed three in a packed Israeli bar.

Zahid and Parveen Sharif were accused of knowing their brother Omar Sharif had plotted to blow himself up along with another Briton, Asif Hanif, at Mike's Place club in Tel Aviv in April 2003.

Zahid and Parveen Sharif were being prosecuted, for the second time. The jury at their first 9 week trial last year, failed to reach a verdict, although their sister in law, Tahira Tabassum the wife of the alleged failed suicide bomber

They were prosecuted under powers brought in by the controversial Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 section 117 Information about acts of terrorism which amended the Terrorism Act 2000 to include:

"38B Information about acts of terrorism

(1) This section applies where a person has information which he knows or believes might be of material assistance-

(a) in preventing the commission by another person of an act of terrorism, or
(b) in securing the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of another person, in the United Kingdom, for an offence involving the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.

(2) The person commits an offence if he does not disclose the information as soon as reasonably practicable in accordance with subsection (3).

(3) Disclosure is in accordance with this subsection if it is made-

(a) in England and Wales, to a constable,
(b) in Scotland, to a constable, or
(c) in Northern Ireland, to a constable or a member of Her Majesty's forces.

(4) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (2) to prove that he had a reasonable excuse for not making the disclosure.

(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable-

(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or to a fine or to both, or
(b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or to both.

(6) Proceedings for an offence under this section may be taken, and the offence may for the purposes of those proceedings be treated as having been committed, in any place where the person to be charged is or has at any time been since he first knew or believed that the information might be of material assistance as mentioned in subsection (1)."

(3) In section 39(3) (disclosure of information etc.), after "21" insert "or 38B".

This is reminicent of the politcal exploitation of the Soviet Komsomols, the Nazi Hitler Youth, or the Maoist Red Guards, who were brainwashed into denouncing even members of their own families as "counter revoloutionaries" or other "enemies of the state".

Parveen Sharif was allso acquitted of the charge of incitement to commit a terrorist act.

Yet again, the only "evidence" presented were some easy to mistranslate / misinterpret emails (which, by their nature, are also inherently trivial forge or edit undetectably) , none of which mention any specific details about the suicide bomb attack in Tel Aviv in Israel, and the latest of which was alleged to have have been sent 8 days before the attack.

The BBC have published the supposed transcripts of some of these emails, but without the full email headers, and an admission that

"The emails have been slightly corrected for ease of understanding."

Presumably these emails were admitted into evidence after the homes of the family members were raided and computers were seized, rather than actually being intercepted through an Interception Warrant, under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

If these emails are typical of what raises the suspicions of the police and proescution services, then it is unlikley that the even vaguer stuff that is intercepted for intelligence purposes, would stand up in court either, should "intercept evidence" be made admissable as the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives have been calling for.

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