Secret trials should not feature in any system of justice, no matter what the excuse. For the first time in more than a century a person has been tried in an English Court; the trial was held virtually in secret.
The parts of the trial that were allowed to be reported show the prosecution claimed that Mr Erol Incedal, the accused, was making preparatory acts to terrorism and had Mr Blair’s address about him. It also claimed that Mr Incedal said that he hated white people. The rest was cloaked in secrecy.
Mr Incedal was acquitted on terrorism charges but found guilty of having a bomb making instruction manual. We know that the jury took 27 hours to reach this decision and that Mr Incedal wept when the verdict came in. We know nothing else about the trial.
Originally, the prosecution asked the court to hold the whole trial in secret. The Court of Appeal decided that most of the trial should be held in secret, except for a select small group of journalists who would be allowed to see parts of the trial but not report on it.
This is a shameful precedent which threatens our liberty,