tisdag, oktober 07, 2014

Två jihadister från Sverige i Turkisk fångutväxling med IS

Brittiska medier avslöjar att Turkiet har haft cirka 180 krigare för Islamiska staten i förvar, för att sedan byta dem mot tillfångatagna turkiska diplomater i en fångutväxling med IS. Bland jihadisterna ska ha funnits två personer från Sverige.

Expressen har träffat vad man tror är pappan till den ene:

"Den 22-årige mannen sade till pappan att han antagits till ett universitet i Mauretanien. Där skulle han studera islam under fem år. Men efter avresan hörde pappan inte ett ord från sonen.
– Jag gick runt till moskéerna som han brukade gå till. Jag sa till folk: 'Jag vet att min son brukade komma hit. Jag är orolig för honom. Vet ni något, snälla kontakta mig'.
För drygt två veckor sedan kom en okänd man fram till pappan inne i en moské.
– Han sa att min son hade varit i förvar i Turkiet. Han hade blivit tillfångatagen, men att han nu var släppt, berättar pappan.
Mannen antydde att 22-åringen nu kunde vara i Syrien eller Irak. Svensken var under skoltiden som andra; han festade och rökte. För två år sedan blev han dömd till dagsböter efter att ha misshandlat en ung man med ett knogjärn utanför en skola.
För ungefär två år sedan skedde en förvandling. Han bytte klädstil och sparade ut skägg. Enligt pappan blev han ”mer radikal”. De hade flera diskussioner om konflikten i Syrien. Sonen uttryckte vissa sympatier för de extrema grupperingar som ville bekämpa ”Iraks korrupta regering”.
– Jag sa till min son. Det är inte mitt och ditt krig. Det är bättre att du utbildar dig."


lördag, oktober 04, 2014

Svensk Syrienjihadist gripen på Heathrow

Bherlin Gildo i Sverige, augusti 2013.
Den svenskfilippinske jihadisten Bherlin Gildo (se tidigare blogginlägg), som var i Syrien från hösten 2012 till våren 2013, greps i lördags på flygplatsen Heathrow utanför London.

The Guardian rapporterar:

"Gildo, who was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on 27 October, faces three counts, including attending a place used for terrorist training between 31 August 2012 and 1 March 2013, contrary to the Terrorism Act 2006.

He is also charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 with receiving instruction or training in the use of firearms “wholly or partly for purposes connected with commission or preparation of acts of terrorism”.

The 36-year-old is also alleged to have made a record on a laptop at Heathrow of three electronic magazines called Ultimate Guide to USA Army Combat, 39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad, and 44 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad, as detailed in the charges before the court.

Gildo is understood to have been arrested by counter-terrorism officers while in transit en route from Copenhagen, Denmark, to Manila, in the Phillippines."

Uppdatering:

Expressen har vittnesmål om Gildo:

"Gildo var aktiv på landsbygden till Aleppo och 'begick brutala' krigshandlingar enligt svenska medborgare som deltog i strid med honom.

– Gildo var jävligt konstig, sa en av de som stred med Gildo."

söndag, juni 15, 2014

Totalt tolv örebroare har rest till Syrien

I en intervju av TT berättar platschefen i stadsdelen Vivalla att sammanlagt tolv personer har rest från Örebro för att strida i Syrien.
"Lokalt i Örebro arbetas i dag aktivt för att förebygga att personer reser till Syrien. När det gäller de som återvänt har kommunen jobbat för att försöka hitta jobb. 
- Vi försöker skapa sysselsättning så att man inte fortsätter tänka i banor om att åka iväg, säger Thomas Gustafsson, platschef i stadsdelen Vivalla och en av de i kommunen som jobbar med frågan. 
Han talar om ytterligare personer från kommunen som rest – totalt tolv stycken rör det sig om enligt hans uppgifter. Alla ska nu ha återvänt och Thomas Gustafsson känner inte till om någon av dessa personer har bedömts utgöra en risk i Sverige."

lördag, juni 14, 2014

Varifrån kommer Islamiska statens pengar?

Hemvändare från det heliga kriget i Syrien "bedöms stödja al-Qaidas sak genom att skicka pengar och annat materiellt stöd till al-Qaidainspirerade grupperingar", säger Säkerhetspolisen i sitt senaste uttalade om jihadkrigarna från Sverige.

Bland annat med anledning av det kan det vara värt att läsa en färsk svensk forskningsrapport om hur jihadistgrupperna i Syrien finansierar sin verksamhet. Michael Jonsson på FOI framlade i maj "Following the Money: Financing the Territorial Expansion of Islamist Insurgents in Syria".


Bland annat belyser Jonsson hur Islamiska staten och Nusra-fronten drar nytta av äldre finansieringsnätverk. Samma personer och institutioner som samlade in pengar till al-Qaida i Irak – och kanske ännu längre tillbaks i tiden – skickar nu pengar till Syrien.

Och jo, även i Sverige finns det tecken på att gamla nätverk är aktiva nu. Exemplet med svenskmarockanen Otman El Khamlichi, som meddelades stupad i Syrien i början av december 2013, ger en antydan. Vid hans död skrev en svensk jihadkrigare om hur Khamlichi hade organiserat jihadresor till Irak, och gjorde detsamma för dem som ville till Syrien.
"Hjälpte bröder i Marocko att komma till jihad i Irak då amerikanerna invaderade landet. Tills dess att han blev upptäckt av den marockanska underrättelsetjänsten och han då var tvungen att fly landet omedelbart utan tid att förbereda sig.   
Tog sig först till Spanien och med tiden kom han ända upp till Sverige. Där blev han ständigt övervakad och förföljd av Säpo men trots det så skrämdes han inte från att hjälpa umman med alla möjliga medel, och Allah bevarade sin trogna tjänare. Då jag ville ta mig hit till bilad ash-Sham var jag i behov av pengar för att kunna ge mig ut och då var Abo Tesnim den första jag tänkte på som utan tvekan skulle hjälpa mig. 
[...] 
Abo Tesnim förstod direkt och gav mig den summa pengar jag behövde för min hijrah utan att sätta någon gräns 
Efter en tid här dyker en gammal vän upp hos oss för hijrah och jihad. Efter att vi pratat ett tag visar det sig att det var Abo Tesnim som även hjälpte honom med pengar för att ge sig iväg. Och vem vet hur många fler Abo Tesnim har bidragit till för deras jihad, och Allah är den bästa belönaren."
Otman El Khamlichi var alltså del i vad Säkerhetspolisen kallar "Det nordafrikanska nätverket", som av allt att döma är aktivt än idag.

En annan figur vars aktiviteter kan vara värda att begrunda i samma andetag är imamen Abo Raad i Gävles moské. Han pekades ut i samband med Sveriges hittills enda fällande dom för terrorismfinansiering. Då påstod vittnen att Abo Raad hade samlat in pengar i moskén och genom hembesök. Abo Raad har även varit aktiv i insamlingar till Syrien. Av vad jag har sett finns det dock inget i detta som skulle tyda på terrorismfinansiering. Snarare beskriver insamlingarna sig som syftande till bistånd.

fredag, juni 13, 2014

40 jihadister har kommit hem till Sverige från Syrien

Den 27 maj gav Säkerhetspolisen nya siffror på hur många man antar har rest till Syrien för att kriga med grupper inspirerade av al-Qaida. "Runt 80", berättade Säpochefen Anders Thornberg i en stor intervju med Reuters. För första gången gav också Säpo en uppskattning av antalet döda jihadister från Sverige. "Omkring 20" hette det i samma intervju.

Idag kompletterade Säkerhetspolisen uppgifterna med en artikel skriven av analyschefen på kontraterrorismenheten Jonathan Peste, "Reflektioner om al-Qaidainspirerat resande till Syrien".

Här kommer det verkliga bombnedslaget, om uttrycket ursäktas, till nyhet:
"Minst 80 personer har rest till Syrien och anslutit sig till al-Qaidainspirerade grupper för att strida. Drygt hälften av dessa har återvänt till Sverige ..."
Krigföringen i Syrien är extremt hårdför. Jihadisterna återvänder brutaliserade, traumatiserade och avtrubbade. De är tränade i strid och sprängteknik. Deras våldskapacitet är alltså mycket stor. De är skolade i en ideologi som föreskriver att det heliga kriget är obligatoriskt även i Sverige. Deras militära taktik bygger på civila som måltavlor.

Givet historiken från tidigare jihadistiska konfliktzoner kan vi förvänta oss att några av Syrienresenärerna kommer begå, eller försöka begå, terroristbrott på hemmaplan. Den norske forskaren Thomas Hegghammers beräkningar ger vid handen att i snitt en av nio jihadresenärer blir inblandade i terrorplotter efter hemkomsten. Frågan är inte om, utan när.

Säkerhetspolisen konstaterar också, redan nu, att några av hemvändarna "fortsätter stödja terrorism".

Något som inte nämns är kostnaderna – bemanning, teknik, logistik, etc – som krävs för att hålla uppsikt över misstänkta terrorister i vardande. Jag misstänker att Säpo saknar resurser för att plötsligt behöva punktmarkera ytterligare 40 personer.

Jonathan Pestes artikel ger även i övrigt goda insikter i fenomenet. Nedan artikeln in extenso:

"Reflektioner om al-Qaidainspirerat resande till Syrien 
2014-06-13 
Unga mäns resande till Syrien för att ansluta sig till al-Qaidainspirerade grupper fortsätter och det finns inga säkra indikationer på att det kommer att avta inom överskådlig tid.  
Resande till Syrien 
Minst 80 personer har rest till Syrien och anslutit sig till al-Qaidainspirerade grupper för att strida. Drygt hälften av dessa har återvänt till Sverige, men det finns ingen garanti för att personerna stannar kvar i Sverige. De som återvänder reser i en del fall tillbaka till Syrien igen. 
Ett knappt tjugotal har dödats 
När personer reser till ett krigsområde för att strida riskerar de att hamna i svåra situationer – de kan såras svårt eller dö. Vi har i nuläget information om ett knappt tjugotal svenskar som ska ha dödats i Syrien. Det är svårt och i vissa fall omöjligt att få officiellt bekräftade uppgifter från myndigheter i konfliktområden. 
Exceptionellt omfattande 
Resandet till Syrien från Sverige för att ansluta sig till al-Qaidainspirerade grupper är exceptionellt omfattande i förhållande till andra al-Qaidainspirerade resandevågor, till exempel Somalia, Pakistan eller Jemen. Vi ser inga tecken på att resandet till Syrien håller på att avta. Exempel på orsaker till att resandet fortsätter är att det fortfarande i dagsläget är förhållandevis lätt att ta sig till Syrien, att konflikten fortsätter och att det finns personer som inspirerar andra till att resa. Sådana inspiratörer är ibland vänner som redan rest eller personer som strider i Syrien och inspirerar genom sociala medier.  
Vi ser dock att vissa av återvändarna från striderna i Syrien är besvikna på hur kriget har utvecklat sig. Flera är också påverkade av det stora lidande och den brutalitet de bevittnat – och i vissa fall varit delaktiga i. 
Fortsätter stödja terrorism 
Några av dem som har kommit hem från Syrien uppmanar och inspirerar andra att resa för att ansluta sig till motsvarande grupper. Andra bedöms stödja al-Qaidas sak genom att skicka pengar och annat materiellt stöd till al-Qaidainspirerade grupperingar i utlandet. Att stödja terrorism genom exempelvis finansiering är något som vi utreder och som är straffbart enligt svensk lagstiftning. 
Säkerhetspolisen bedriver underrättelsearbete för att kunna upptäcka om återvändare planerar attentat eller stödjer terrorism aktivt på annat sätt såsom rekrytering eller finansiering. Om informationen blir alltför allvarlig och det finns anledning att anta att brott har begåtts inleds förundersökning och åklagare kopplas in. 
Säkerhetspolisen har tidigare pekat på att även kvinnor reser till Syrien för att engagera sig i såväl logistisk som annan stödverksamhet. Vi har ingen bekräftad information som tyder på att de kvinnor som rest till Syrien för att stödja al-Qaidainspirerade grupper eller personer har deltagit i strider. Vi vill därför inte gå in på antalet kvinnor som har rest till Syrien från Sverige. Detta är inget nytt fenomen för Säkerhetspolisen, men det är allvarligt och oroande att kvinnor reser till ett krigsområde för att stödja al-Qaidainspirerade grupperingar.  
Ett problem över nationsgränserna 
Resande till al-Qaidainspirerade grupper i utlandet är ett problem även på europeisk nivå. Genom att hundratals personer från olika europeiska länder har rest till Syrien för att strida har nya kontakter och bekantskaper skapats. Ett tänkbart framtida terrorattentat kan mycket väl planeras och genomföras av personer från olika länder i Europa som har lärt känna varandra i Syrien. Detta illustrerar vikten av att Säkerhetspolisen bedriver ett aktivt internationellt samarbete och informationsutbyte. 
Rekryteringen bekymrar Säkerhetspolisen  
Säkerhetspolisen samlar kunskap om det al-Qaidainspirerade resandet, men det finns få åtgärder för att motverka det. Vi genomför löpande samtal med många personer. Vi talar bland annat med återvändare från Syrien, samt med personer som enligt befintlig information rekryterar, för att påtala lagen mot rekrytering och utbildning till terrorism. Säkerhetspolisen har haft och kommer att ha fler samtal med personer där det finns information som tyder på att de uppmanar, rekryterar eller utbildar till terrorism.  
Jonathan Peste
Chefsanalytiker Kontraterror"

onsdag, juni 11, 2014

Nasserdine Menni får straffet kortat, släpps

Taimour Abdulwahabs finansiär Nasserdine Menni får straffet kortat, släpps och deporteras. BBC, Herald Scotland, Evening Times med flera rapporterar vad som blev ett telegram i Sverige.

Den slutliga domen innebär sannolikt att svensk polis till sist kan slutföra och presentera den utredning om Taimour Abdulwahabs självmordsdåd som utlovats sedan åratal.

Domen:

Judgment

APPEAL COURT, HIGH COURT OF JUSTICIARY

 [2014] HCJAC 54

Lord Justice General

Lord Brodie

Lord Bracadale


Appeal No: XC512/12

OPINION OF THE

LORD JUSTICE GENERAL

in

NOTE OF APPEAL AGAINST CONVICTION AND SENTENCE

by

NASSERDINE MENNI

Appellant;

against

HER MAJESTY'S ADVOCATE

Respondent:

_______

For the appellant: Taylor QC, McCaffrey (sol adv); John Pryde & Co, Edinburgh

For the Crown: Wade QC AD, Barron; Crown Agent

10 June 2014

Introduction

[1]        The appellant was tried in Glasgow High Court during May to July 2012 on a charge of conspiracy to further terrorist aims by criminal and other means including inter alia the use of explosive devices in the commission of an act of terrorism directed against members of the public in Sweden with intent to murder them.  The charge related to the detonation of an improvised explosive device in the streets of Stockholm as a result of which one of the alleged conspirators, Taimour Abdulwahab, was killed.  The charge had 21 sub-heads libelling specific actions on the part of the accused in furtherance of the alleged conspiracy.

[2]        On 28 July 2012 the appellant was acquitted of the conspiracy charge but convicted of a number of the crimes libelled in the sub-heads.  The appeal is brought against the conviction on sub-head (c) and against the sentence of seven years that was imposed for it.

[3]        Sub-head (c) of the indictment was in the following terms.

“Between 1 January 2005 and 16 December 2010 both dates inclusive at Flat 2/2, 106 Dalmarnock Road, Flat 1/4, 150 Charles Street and Flat 19/6, 64 Curle Street, all Glasgow, 15 Argyll Avenue, Luton, England and elsewhere you did enter into or become concerned in an arrangement as a result of which money or other property was made available or was to be made available to another whilst knowing or having reasonable cause to suspect that it will or may be used for the purposes of terrorism, in that you did on various occasions transfer sums of money totalling £5,725 to an account in the name of said Taimour Abdulwahab at the National Westminster Bank, 31 George Street, Luton, England, you did transfer the sum of £1,000 into an account in the name of Hemel Tellis, c/o Strathclyde Police, Glasgow at the Royal Bank of Scotland, Luton, England, all in the knowledge or with reasonable cause to suspect that said sums of money would or may be used for the purposes of terrorism; CONTRARY to the Terrorism Act 2000, section 17.”

[4]        On 6 December 2012 this court refused the appeal against conviction in relation to grounds of appeal 1 and 4 and continued the appeal for consideration of grounds 2 and 3 and of the appeal against sentence.  The evidential background is set out by Lord Bracadale in Menni v HMA ([2013] HCJAC 158 at paras [1] to [26]).

The appeal against conviction – grounds 2 and 3

[5]        Grounds 2 and 3 relate to evidence disclosed by the Crown shortly before the start of the trial.  A substantial number of preliminary hearings took place between 16 November 2011 and 29 March 2012.  It was agreed that all outstanding preliminary matters would be dealt with at the commencement of the trial diet on 23 April 2012 and that evidence would begin on 2 May 2012.

[6]        On 20 April 2012 a precognition officer at the Procurator Fiscal’s Office in Glasgow wrote to the accused’s representatives intimating a section 67 notice.  The letter ended as follows:

“ … Finally, I can advise you of the following information:

That on 15 December 2010 at about 00:07 hours the accused was heard to be upset and to say ‘why did you kill yourself?’ [sic]

Telephone billing shows that, on 15 December 2010 at about 00:07 hours the accused, using mobile phone number 07576 772109 made a telephone call to telephone number 07838 924376, which connected to voicemail.

The Crown would be willing to agree these facts by joint minute of agreement if that would be of assistance to you.”

[7]        By letter dated 9 May 2012, the appellant’s agents requested detailed information from the Crown in relation to the telephone call evidence.  The Crown did not reply.  On 8 June 2012 the matter was raised in court.  That prompted the Principal Procurator Fiscal Depute in Glasgow to write a letter dated the same day to the defence agents.  She said:

“Thank you for your letter of 9 May 2012.  Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying.

The Crown became aware of this information in September 2011.  Thereafter, the Crown conducted a detailed assessment of the information, in the context of the wider case.  The final decision to disclose the information was taken on 18 April 2012.

The Crown is not aware of any other material, not yet disclosed, which meets the test for disclosure. To the best of the Crown’s knowledge and belief, the Crown has fully complied with its disclosure obligations in relation to this material and, indeed, the case as a whole.

Should you wish to rely upon the material disclosed in our letter dated 20 April at trial, the Crown would be willing to enter into a suitably worded Joint Minute of Agreement.”

[8]        On 18 June 2012 senior counsel for the appellant called in open court for further particulars in relation to the voicemail message evidence.

[9]        On 10 July 2012 a joint minute was entered into in the following terms:

“Around midnight on the 14th/15th December 2010 the accused telephoned a mobile telephone number belonging to Taimour Abdulwahab.  The call was transferred to voicemail at 0007 hours.  The accused was heard to say ‘why did you kill yourself.’  He was at that time in a very upset condition.”

[10]      On 11 July 2012 Mr Miller, who appeared as advocate depute, made his closing speech.  A written copy of the speech was provided in advance to the trial judge, but no copy was provided to the appellant’s representatives.  During the course of his speech, the advocate depute said:

“Now Joint Minute number 5, which was read to you yesterday, deals with a comment which the accused was heard to make in the early hours of 15 December, a number of days after he became aware of Taimour’s death, when, according to the Joint Minute, ladies and gentlemen, and the Crown does not dispute this in any way, the accused called one of Taimour’s numbers, was heard to be upset and was heard to say the words, “why did you kill yourself”.

Ladies and gentlemen, this incident days after the accused became aware of Taimour’s death needn’t mean that the accused had no prior knowledge of Taimour’s plans or intentions.  Ladies and gentlemen, clearly the accused’s friend was dead, Taimour, and on any view his death was a waste.  Having clearly set out as the evidence indicates to kill members of the public in Stockholm, Taimour Abdulwahab only succeeded, as the accused, in the words of the comments the accused was heard to make, according to the Joint Minute, only succeeded in killing himself in what was ultimately a failed mission.”

In quoting the words “why did you kill yourself?” the advocate depute emphasised the word “yourself”.

[11]      At the conclusion of the speech, senior counsel for the appellant objected to the advocate depute’s interpretation of the voicemail message.  He submitted that the Crown should now disclose all the information that it had, otherwise it would be in breach of the Convention, and of Scots law, and the trial would be unfair.   The trial judge said that he was prohibited by law from allowing senior counsel to hear the message.

[12]      On 13 July 2012, outwith the presence of the jury, senior counsel repeated his objections.  He submitted that they undermined the agreement in the joint minute and that the defence were at a disadvantage, being unaware of the full circumstances.  He invited the trial judge to desert the diet.  The learned trial judge, without hearing the advocate depute in reply, refused to desert the diet but allowed a continuation to 17 July 2012 so that senior counsel could consult with the Dean of Faculty and consider his position.

[13]      On 17 July 2012 senior counsel complained that the copy of the Crown speech had been given to the trial judge without his knowledge.  He submitted that if any judge, as a result of a private meeting or disclosure had information that would prejudice a fair trial, he should recuse himself.  The trial judge intimated that he was in no better position than the defence were.  In the course of his charge, the trial judge said:

“Then there is the joint minute, that’s the joint minute number five.  You’ll recall what is agreed as a matter of fact in the case.  Around midnight on the 14th to 15th December 2010, the accused telephoned a mobile telephone number belonging to Taimour Abdulwahab.  The call was transferred to voicemail at 00.07 hours.  The accused was heard to say, ‘why did you kill yourself?’ He was, at that time, in a very upset condition.  Now, the question for you is, why would he be very upset and say that, as is all agreed, if he was a conspirator?  Is it an unlikely act, an unlikely reaction if he was a conspirator?  It’s entirely a matter for you.

In deciding what inferences you draw from the undisputed facts set out in the joint minute, you may wish to have regard to the evidence about his reactions; you’ve heard from witnesses who saw and spoke to him after the events, and you will, no doubt, wish to have regard to the actual words used as agreed.  He didn’t say, for example, ‘why, why did the mission fail?’ or anything like that.  It’s a matter entirely for you, and the advocate depute and Mr Taylor have made their submissions on that.”

[14]      During the course of their deliberations, the jury asked the trial judge for a direction on the following question:

“Can we charge against subhead (c) and not the main charge of conspiracy, as we have conflicting ideas from the deputy advocate, Mr Miller, unless we find him guilty of (c) we cannot find him guilty of conspiracy.”

The trial judge directed them as follows:

“… Let’s say you were satisfied that the Crown had proved subhead (c), that the accused knew that the money was for the purposes of terrorism or had reasonable cause to suspect it, let’s say you took the view that they had proved that much, but they hadn’t proved that the purposes included setting off the bomb in Sweden, basically that’s what it comes to.  If you were satisfied that the accused knew or had reasonable cause to suspect that some terrorist purposes were in mind, but not the bomb, then you would acquit of the conspiracy, but it would be open to you just to convict of subhead (c).So while you can, as a matter of law, convict of subhead (c) on its own without the conspiracy, you cannot convict of the conspiracy without subhead (c).

Having said all that, you’ll recall what I said, that if you’re minded to convict of subhead (c) on its own you’ll have to consider very carefully what terrorist purposes the Crown has in mind.  What, if, if you take away the bombing, what is left, really, in actual fact?  So while it’s technically open to you to do that you’ll have to think about that very carefully and say, ‘Well, really, without this bomb, is there anything left which we can call terrorist purposes, since that goes to the heart of the case, if you like. What terrorist purposes are left, if the, the bomb goes away?’”

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (the 2000 Act)

[15]      Section 92 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 provides inter alia that

no part of a trial shall take place outwith the presence of the accused.  That constitutional principle is abridged by the 2000 Act.  Section 17 of the Act explicitly provides for the withholding of certain evidence from the defence in a trial of this kind.  Section 18 provides inter alia as follows:

“… (7) Nothing in section 17(1) shall prohibit any such disclosure of any information that continues to be available for disclosure as is confined to-

(a) a disclosure to a person conducting a criminal prosecution for the purpose only of enabling that person to determine what is required of him by his duty to secure the fairness of the prosecution …

(b) a disclosure to a relevant judge in a case in which that judge has ordered the disclosure to be made to him alone; [or]

(c) a disclosure to the panel of any inquiry held under the Inquiries Act 2005 or to a person appointed as counsel to such an inquiry where, in the course of the inquiry, the panel has ordered the disclosure to be made to the panel alone or (as the case may be) to the panel and the person appointed as counsel to the inquiry; or

(8)  A relevant judge shall not order a disclosure under subsection (7)(b) except where he is satisfied that the exceptional circumstances of the case make the disclosure essential in the interests of justice …

(9)  Subject to subsection (10), where in any criminal proceedings-

(a) a relevant judge does order a disclosure under subsection (7)(b), and

(b) in consequence of that disclosure he is of the opinion that there are exceptional circumstances requiring him to do so,

he may direct the person conducting the prosecution to make for the purposes of the proceedings any such admission of fact as that judge thinks essential in the interests of justice …

(11)  In this section “a relevant judge” means-

 … (b) any judge of the High Court of Justiciary or any sheriff.”

The Act of Adjournal (Criminal Procedure Rules) 1996 (SI No 513)

[16]      Schedule 2 to this Act of Adjournal provides inter alia as follows:

“Interpretation

57.1 In this Chapter “the 2000 Act” means the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Disclosed information: hearing

57.2 (1) This rule applies where a prosecutor of a case has had disclosed to him or her information under section 18(7)(a) of the 2000 Act and considers it appropriate to invite the judge to order disclosure in terms of section 18(7)(b) of the 2000 Act.

(2) The prosecutor may request a hearing before the judge.

(3) A request for a hearing under paragraph (2)-

(a) may be made at any time, either verbally or in writing;

(b) shall be to either the Clerk of Justiciary of the clerk of court, whoever being more appropriate in the circumstances.

(4) The hearing shall be-

(a) in court;

(b) in private.

(5) In paragraph (4), “private” means outwith the presence of any person (including, in a trial, the accused, his representatives and the jury) except the judge, the prosecutor and any other person whose presence the judge considers necessary for the proper determination of the matter.

(6) The hearing shall be recorded by mechanical means as if it were a trial in solemn proceedings.

(7) Paragraph (8) applies where the prosecutor indicates that information disclosed during the hearing has a particular status under any scheme operated by the United Kingdom Government for the protection of sensitive information.

(8) The record of the hearing and any retained documents shall be stored by the court in accordance with the security measures which the scheme stipulates for information of that status.”

The secret meeting

[17]      In the course of the trial the defence were given to understand that a meeting would take place between the trial judge and the advocate depute under the authority of the 2000 Act.  After it, the advocate depute told senior counsel for the appellant that the trial judge had directed him to disclose to the defence restricted information about the voicemail message of 14/15 December 2010.  The Crown neither admits nor denies that the meeting took place.  We may infer that it did.

Submissions for the appellant

[18]      Counsel for the appellant submitted that the principles of natural justice, the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 and the Convention were contravened by the holding of the secret meeting during the trial (Bank Mellat (Appellant) v Her Majesty’s Treasury (Respondent) (No 1) [2013] UKSC 38).  Even if disclosure of the voicemail message had been ordered in terms of the 2000 Act, the correct procedures had not been followed by either the Crown or the Court.  Moreover, the advocate depute’s treatment of the voicemail message in his closing speech was improper.  The advocate depute also acted improperly in giving an advance copy of his closing speech to the trial judge without giving a copy to the defence.

Conclusions on the appeal against conviction

[19]      In my opinion, the appeal is misconceived so far as it relates the disclosure of the voicemail evidence and the secret meeting.  If I am right in inferring that the meeting duly took place, that cannot constitute a ground of appeal since the provisions of the 2000 Act expressly warrant the course that was taken by the advocate depute and the trial judge.  There is no application before this court to declare that the 2000 Act or any provision in it is in breach of the Convention.  In any event if the meeting took place, the outcome was the disclosure to the defence of evidence that was relevant to the indictment.  I conclude therefore that the appeal fails on this point.

[20]      In my opinion, the central issue in this appeal is whether the advocate depute’s recital of the joint minute in his speech constituted a miscarriage of justice.  On this question it is necessary to consider whether the advocate depute’s comments bore any relevance to the conviction on sub-head (c).

[21]      It is clear that the comments made in the voicemail message relate to the appellant’s knowledge of events in Stockholm, namely the detonation of the bomb.  It is clear, in my view, that the words “why did you kill yourself” have no bearing on sub-head (c) of the indictment, but are directly relevant to the alleged conspiracy to murder.  The voicemail message related to the detonation of the bomb in Sweden and to the question of the accused’s mens rea in relation to that.  The jury asked the trial judge for a direction on the relationship of sub-head (c) to the conspiracy charge.  I have quoted their question and the trial judge’s response to the effect that the detonation of the bomb was unrelated to sub-head (c).

[22]      It is apparent that the jury followed the trial judge’s directions and convicted on sub-head (c) on that understanding.  That being the case, the joint minute has nothing to do with the conviction on sub-head (c).

[23]      I conclude therefore that the appeal against conviction fails.  Having come to this conclusion, I think that it is unnecessary for us to consider the wider questions relating to the 2000 Act and to the meeting between the advocate depute and the trial judge.

[24]      Two matters have caused me concern.  In the joint minute the parties agreed that the words used by the appellant were “why did you kill yourself?”  That and only that was the extent of the defence admission.  By placing emphasis on the word “yourself” the advocate depute went beyond the scope of the agreement by giving the jury his own nuance to the agreed words.  By doing so, he implied that they indicated the appellant’s mens rea in respect of the killing of people in Stockholm. That was beyond the scope of the agreement in the joint minute.  It was quite improper.

[25]      I am also concerned by the fact that the advocate depute gave the trial judge an advance copy of his speech without giving a copy to the defence.  That too was improper.  Any document that is passed to the trial judge by either side should be disclosed to the other.  It seems to be agreed that in the printed copy of the speech the word “yourself” was emphasised.  If the defence had been given a copy of the speech before it was delivered, senior counsel for the appellant would have had the opportunity to object in advance to the advocate depute’s ill-judged reference to the joint minute.

The appeal against sentence

[26]      In his sentencing statement, the trial judge said:

“[However, as you know, you were also] convicted of a contravention of Section 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000.  There was no dispute that you transferred sums totalling £5,725 to an account in the name of Taimour Abdulwahab and the sum of £1,000 to an account in the name of Hemel Tellis.  The jury by their verdict found that you did so in the knowledge or with reasonable cause to suspect that those sums of money would or might be used for the purposes of terrorism.  I appreciate your stated intention to appeal against your conviction but that is not a matter which I can take into account.

There is little point in my saying anything about the attitude which courts in this country adopt to offences of this kind.  They must obviously be treated as very serious.  Parliament has enacted that the maximum sentence for a contravention of Section 17 is one of 14 years imprisonment and it is my task to determine as best I can whereabouts in the range of criminality your conduct comes.

I have taken account of everything said on your behalf by Mr Taylor as well as considering the material in the social work report.  I have also had regard to the evidence in the case.  Perhaps the most important factor is the discriminating nature of the jury’s verdict.  The most serious charge on the indictment which you faced was one of conspiracy.  Put shortly, it was alleged that you conspired with the deceased Taimour Abdulwahab to further terrorist aims by criminal and other means including inter alia the use of explosive devices in the commission of an act of terrorism directed against members of the public in Sweden with intent to murder them.  I have no doubt that on the evidence that was Taimour Abdulwahab’s aim.  Others, who shared that aim, may have been involved with him.  The main focus of the Crown case was directed at attempting to prove that you were so involved.  The jury, however, rejected the Crown’s submissions in that regard.  They acquitted you of the conspiracy and it is only right that in sentencing you I have to leave out of account the events in Sweden.

Those events, though, illustrate the reason why terrorism offences are taken seriously.  The provision of funds provides assistance for those who would carry out terrorist attacks and even if the providers of the funds do not know precisely what they will be used for the sentence of the court must reflect their potential use.

Bearing in mind the amount of money provided by you I have decided that your activities lie in the mid-range of those struck at by the legislation.  I have considered the case of AT v the Secretary of State for the Home Department referred to by Mr Taylor but it does not contain any real detail as to the circumstances of the contravention of the section which gave rise to the sentence referred to other than those matters referred to by Mr Taylor and a reference on page 15 to the effect that it was submitted on the plaintiff’s behalf at his sentencing hearing that he was particularly concerned with raising funds for the families of those who were imprisoned in Libya or who had died there.  That was the basis on which he was sentenced.”

[27]      Counsel for the appellant submitted that the trial judge, having observed that the sentence of seven years was a mid-point between a non-custodial disposal and the maximum sentence of 14 years, had given no reason why he had fixed the sentence at that figure.  Cases in the Court of Appeal showed a sentencing range for similar low-level terrorist offences of 18 months to 3 years (Banks on Sentence , 8th ed, vol 2;  Reg v Mohammed [2008] EWCA Crim 1465; Att-Gen’s Ref Nos 85 to 87 of 2007 [2007] EWCA Crim 3300).  In the appellant’s written submission, we were referred to Ahmed Raza Faraz v Regina ([2012] EWCA Crim 2820) in which the appellant was sentenced to three years in total on an indictment for inter alia, contraventions of section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006 (dissemination of a terrorist publication by distribution) and offences under section 58(1)(b) of the Terrorism Act 2000 (possession of information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism).

[28]      Counsel submitted that this was a case of low-level involvement.  The appellant had been in custody for three years and one month at the date of the appeal hearing.  He had been virtually in solitary confinement at the outset.  He could not speak English.  The possibility of a lengthy sentence on the conspiracy charge had been hanging over him.  The emotional effects on him had been severe.

Conclusions on the appeal against sentence

[29]      Since the appellant was found not guilty of the conspiracy charge, the gravity of this conviction is greatly reduced.  The maximum sentence for a conviction on indictment under section 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is 14 years imprisonment.  I accept the submission of counsel for the appellant that the conduct of which the appellant was convicted, though serious, was at the lower end of the scale.  The trial judge thought that the amount of money referred to in sub-head (c) indicated that the appellant’s activities lay in the mid-range of those struck at by the legislation.  I am not persuaded of that.  In my view, the sentence of seven years was excessive.

[30]      Taking into account that the sum of money was £5,275 and that on the narrative in sub-head (c) no specific terrorist purpose was libelled, I consider that a sentence of three years is appropriate.

Disposal

[31]      I propose to your Lordships that we should refuse the appeal against conviction, sustain the appeal against sentence and substitute a sentence of three years imprisonment back-dated to 8 March 2011, the date on which the appellant was taken into custody.

APPEAL COURT, HIGH COURT OF JUSTICIARY

[2014] HCJAC 54

Lord Justice General

Lord Brodie

Lord Bracadale

Appeal No: XC512/12


OPINION OF LORD BRODIE

in

NOTE OF APPEAL AGAINST CONVICTION AND SENTENCE

by

NASSERDINE MENNI

Appellant;

against

HER MAJESTY'S ADVOCATE

Respondent:
_______

For the appellant: Taylor QC, McCaffrey (sol adv); John Pryde & Co, Edinburgh

For the Crown: Wade QC AD, Barron; Crown Agent

10 June 2014

[32]      I agree with the opinion of your Lordship in the chair, and have nothing further to add.

APPEAL COURT, HIGH COURT OF JUSTICIARY

[2014] HCJAC 54

Lord Justice General

Lord Brodie

Lord Bracadale

Appeal No: XC512/12


OPINION OF LORD BRACADALE

in

NOTE OF APPEAL AGAINST CONVICTION AND SENTENCE

by

NASSERDINE MENNI

Appellant;

against

HER MAJESTY'S ADVOCATE

Respondent:
_______

For the appellant: Taylor QC, McCaffrey (sol adv); John Pryde & Co, Edinburgh

For the Crown: Wade QC AD, Barron; Crown Agent

10 June 2014

[33]      I agree with the opinion of your Lordship in the chair and with the disposal proposed by your Lordship.  I have nothing further to add.

tisdag, juni 10, 2014

Nu börjar kvinnorna resa till Syrien på egen hand

Unga kvinnor har börjat resa till Syrien på egen hand, rapporterar Dagens Nyheters Ulrika By. Minst sex somalisksvenska flickor ska ha lämnat Rinkeby och kringliggande områden för att åka till Syrien, bara under maj månad.
"Några rykten går ut på att kvinnorna gifter sig med krigförande män, eller att de på olika sätt stöttar och servar de krigförande. Andra går ut på att de själva deltar i konflikten, som soldater. 
– Det är fruktansvärt svårt för deras föräldrar. De hamnar i chock och sörjer. Några orkar inte söka hjälp, andra vill inte. Men nu ringer det människor till mig nästa varje dag och är väldigt oroliga för vad som håller på att hända, säger Ibrahim Bouraleh. 
Han har hittills – av anhöriga – fått bekräftat sex fall av unga kvinnor som rest till Syrien från Stockholmsområdet. 
I början av maj reste tre syskon – två systrar och en bror – från Rinkeby till Syrien. Ett par veckor senare följde fyra andra flickor efter; en från Husby, en från Kista, en från Rinkeby och en från Hässelby. 
Ett par av deras föräldrar bröt tystnaden och sökte sig till Islamiska förbudet i Järva för att få hjälp."