Guilty ’til proven innocent (again)
Via email from Sadbutmadlad, quoted en bloc:
This is an email sent to all my contacts. I have your email address because we have been in touch at some point in the past, maybe brief, maybe dim and distant. My apologies if you have received this and no longer wish to keep in touch with me, just let me know and I’ll remove your address from my contact list.
So why have I written this email? Because Graham Mitchell, a fellow blogger and press photographer has been arrested under the European Arrest Warrant for a crime that he was acquitted of 20 years ago. He was not just found innocent on some technicality, he was found totally innocent of the crime because the victim identified other people as his attackers. However though he was free after spending 54 weeks in prison (in a story covered by the Daily Mail at the time) some 20 years later, the Portuguese authorities have found some reason (which even his lawyer can’t fathom out) to re-arrest him. Due to the Portuguese not filling out the EAW form properly he has been allowed bail, but only after he spent a short time in Wandsworth prison as a category A prisoner. He could be going to Portugal at any time, to spend weeks, possibly months in prison while waiting for his case to wend it way through the Portuguese legal system. All to be found not guilty again.
His story has been written about on http://www.annaraccoon.com where I urge you to go and read it. If you feel as strongly as I do, please pass on the link to all your contacts. Please tweet it and put it on your facebook wall as well.
The direct link to the story is http://www.annaraccoon.com/madeleine-mccann/portuguese-men-o-law/
If you’re wondering why Madeleine Mccann is in the URL above it is because it involves the same police who investigated her case so brilliantly – not! So you can see why Graham is very likely not to get a fair trail.
Do please go over to Anna Raccoon’s and read the whole thing. There’s also an update in which Anna notes that the warrant for Graham Mitchell’s arrest says that he’s wanted for murder despite the fact that the victim is alive and well, albeit paralysed from the waist down since the incident, and playing basketball. Oh, and also despite the fact that this not dead murder victim said that Mitchell was not his attacker at the original trial.
And remember that all this is possible because, thanks to the terms the UK government agreed to, any police force in the EU may issue an arrest warrant on their terms for anyone in the UK, even for things that are not even a crime under British laws, and they’re under no obligation to provide any prima facie evidence that the crime was committed, much less of the guilt of the subject of the warrant. So it shouldn’t be a surprise when they don’t. While its tempting to excoriate the previous government and its remnants on the Labour benches for this it should be borne in mind that the Cobbleition parties have not only shown approval of the EAW by failing to scrap it, they’ve gone so far as to extend the powers of other member nations’ police forces over people living in the UK by signing up to the European Investigation Order – another example of all parties in Westminster being as bad as each other.
With this in mind the obvious advice to anyone who’s ever had any run ins with any police force anywhere in the EU, even if they were subsequently found to be completely innocent of any wrongdoing, is to get out of Europe and stay out. A second option might be to begin creating a network of underground railroads so people accused of crimes they didn’t do can escape to somewhere freer. The way things are going in the EU that might turn out to be China.