QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
IN THE MATTER OF AN APPLICATION PURSUANT
TO THE PREVENTION OF TERRORISM ACT 2005
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT
|- and -
(instructed by THE TREASURY SOLICITOR) for the Applicant
STEPHANIE HARRISON AND EDWARD GRIEVES
(instructed by TYNDALLWOODS SOLICITORS) for the Respondent
MICHAEL BIRNBAUM QC AND MELANIE PLIMMER
(instructed by THE TREASURY SOLICITOR SPECIAL ADVOCATE SUPPORT OFFICE) as Special Advocates
Hearing dates: 30TH AND 31ST MARCH 2009, 1ST, 2ND AND 3RD APRIL 2009
Crown Copyright ©
MR JUSTICE MITTING :
The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)
The principal issues
i) The decision to make the order: did the inclusion of the statement that AV had been found guilty in absentia by a court in Rabat, Morocco, of involvement in the Casablanca bombings on 16th May 2003 in the Security Service submission to the Secretary of State make her decision to make the order flawed?
ii) Substance: is the Secretary of State's decision that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that AV has been involved in terrorism-related activity flawed?
iii) Necessity: is the Secretary of State's decision that the making and continuance in force of the control order is necessary for purposes connected with protecting members of the public from the risk of terrorism flawed?
iv) Procedure: has AV been afforded at least the minimum requirements of procedural fairness to which he is entitled in these proceedings?
v) Modification: Is the decision of the Secretary of State that some of the individual obligations imposed continue to be necessary for that purpose flawed?
There are ancillary and subsidiary issues which I will deal with under the appropriate head. I have listed the issues in this order, for reasons which will be apparent.
The decision to make the order
"The CD "forbidden"…had twenty one files. Some was of a general jihadist nature. It was lurid anti-western material. MEB/6 was a bomb manual. It was accepted the CD ROM was in (AV's) house, he had control of the CD ROM and that (AV) knew that the CD contained islamist material which was likely to include material of this type. (AV) did not create it, supply it or use it. …Mr Robertson (AV's expert) accepted that if the manual fell into the right hands it could be used for terrorism. This is the real seriousness of the charge. It is not suggested that (AV) could begin to use the manual personally."
In his evidence to me, AV said that he could not remember anything about this CD. He said that it was found in a pouch near to a defunct computer in his living room. He suggested that it might have been planted there by agents of the Libyan government. His attempt to distance himself from it was unconvincing and damaging to his credibility. I do not believe that he told me the truth about it. He has certainly not discharged the burden which section 11 of the Civil Evidence Act 1968 imposes upon him of proving that it was not in his possession when it was seized.
"(c) conduct which gives encouragement to the commission, preparation or instigation of (acts of terrorism) or which is intended to do so"
I am satisfied, on the basis of the matters considered above alone, that there were and remain reasonable grounds to suspect that he has been involved at least in such terrorism-related activity. The closed material which I have considered supports that conclusion.