28/06/2006

Judge quashes anti-terror control orders

A High Court judge has quashed control orders made against six men under the government's anti-terror legislation, saying that they were incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

The orders were made against six men, believed to be one British citizen and five Iraqis, placing them under severe restrictions.

Sitting at the High Court, Mr Justice Sullivan said that the orders were incompatible with Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The announcement comes just months after the same judge ruled that the Prevention of Terrorism Act was incompatible with the Convention.

In April, Mr Justice Sullivan ruled that the 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act, under which control orders are made, was "incompatible" with the Convention because the "controlees" had not received a fair hearing.

That ruling also resulted in the overturning of the first control order to be made, which was against a British citizen who is referred to as "S".

Both cases are now expected to come before the Court of Appeal on Monday.

Control orders can be imposed on people suspected of involvement with terrorism without them standing trial.

The orders can restrict controlees to their homes and restrict their associations with other people. They can also be forced to hand in their passports and can be required to give law enforcement officers unrestricted access to their homes.

Imposed for up to 12 months at a time, the Home Secretary has the power to renew the orders indefinitely.

(KMcA/SP)

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