Sunday, November 26, 2006

Intercept evidence whats currently allowed

When this Government trots out proposals for new laws to deal with the threat of terrorism that vastly reduces our liberties and constitutional protection one of the things that both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats say is "Why not allow wire tap evidence to convict these people".

The answer is we could not possibly do that.

Well why not? There are only two common law jurisdictions that do not allow wire tap evidence in court. The UK and Hong Kong. Except that we do allow it in our courts if the wire tapping was carried out by someone else.

We also allow recordings of telephone conversations where one end is bugged. The Police also can and sometimes do insert a bug in a telephone, and get both ends of the conversation and this is still allowed.

In fact the only thing not allowed is intercepting a call remotely and using that as evidence. This is plainly nuts.

We do hear arguments about revealing methods but that can be covered by a public interest immunity certificate. So what is the argument?

Do we stick with Hong King on this one, and call the Dutch or Belgians every time we could do with a phone being tapped, or do we catch up with the rest of the civilised world?

Even the Director of Public Prosecutions wants wire tap evidence to be admissible.

For further information you can read about this weeks File on 4 here. Apparently you can't listen again until tomorrow.

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