Living With A Terror Suspect: Detainee U’s Landlord Tells His Story by Andy Worthington

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by Andy Worthington
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
6 December 2009

The man identified in legal proceedings in the UK as Detainee U is a 46-year old Algerian, who, as two High Court judges explained on December 1, “has been continuously in custody since March 2001,” held without charge or trial, on the basis of secret evidence, “save for a period from July 2008 until February 2009, when he was on bail.”

The judges’ comments came as part of a ground-breaking ruling establishing that U and another man (XC, a Pakistani student), who are both held as “terror suspects” pending deportation, could not have their bail applications refused or revoked on the basis of secret evidence. The judges drew on an enormously significant ruling by the Law Lords in June, establishing that the imposition of control orders on other “terror suspects” (who are held under a form of house arrest on the basis of secret evidence) breaches Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to a fair trial, because a suspect held under a control order is not given “sufficient information about the allegations against him to enable him to give effective instructions to the special advocate assigned to him.”

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