Police bugged Muslim MP Sadiq Khan

  PILECAP 15:27 03 Feb 08
Locked

So, the conversations of an MP whose party backed Bush’s “War on Terror” were recorded when visiting a fellow Muslim, detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, whilst the European Court of Human Rights decide if we can extradite him to the U.S. for allegedly raising funds for Muslim Terrorists.

It was Mr Ahmad that was being bugged, presumably after Authorising Officers had followed Home Office guidelines, that the level of surveillance was proportionate to the suspected crime, and after consideration, the likelihood of obtaining private information about a person other than the surveillance target was justifiable. Mr Khan was one of many people who had previously been present whilst Mr Ahmed was being monitored.

Having lost his appeals in Britain, so far there is sufficient evidence that Babar Ahmad should be extradited. I would be more concerned if his conversations were not bugged. What do other Forum members think?

  sunny staines 15:33 03 Feb 08

the authorities will want to know why a mp is visiting a terrorist, quiet right to bug him to eliminate him from being involved in terrorist involvement. We do not want a mp with access to Parliament giving useful info to the other side.

  oresome 15:48 03 Feb 08

The problem with the "fight against terrorism" if we are not careful is that it erodes the very freedoms we enjoy and believe are worth fighting for.

  newman35 16:04 03 Feb 08

"We do not want a mp with access to Parliament giving useful info to the other side."

Like how to employ all your family at UK taxpayers expense!! (:-)

Are not all 'terrorist type' suspects not expected to be monitored/bugged? They should be.
In defence of The MP, it was said this morning that the detainee was also a childhood friend, as well as a constituent, so certainly no problems about him visiting.

  Forum Editor 16:06 03 Feb 08

Precisely.

I don't want to live in a country which is prepared to tolerate the arbitrary bugging of a conversation between a member of parliament and a constituent - regardless of what the constituent might or might not have done. None of us knows the full facts of this case, despite what some of us may think - there's a good deal of speculation and interpretation, however, and that's always a risky business.

Firstly, the man in question has not been charged with any offence by UK authorities, and therefore there's no reason whatever why an MP shouldn't visit him. Allegations have been made by the American authorities, but that's all they are at the moment - allegations - there's been no trial.

Secondly, there's been no confirmation of the fact that the conversation was bugged - there's a story in the news, but so far that's all.


The Justice Minister acted correctly when he ordered an investigation into this report.

  Forum Editor 16:14 03 Feb 08

"the authorities will want to know why a mp is visiting a terrorist, quiet right to bug him to eliminate him from being involved in terrorist involvement. We do not want a mp with access to Parliament giving useful info to the other side."

Time to get a grip on reality, I think.

1. The "terrorist" is a British citizen with no previous convictions for anything.

2. It is illegal under British law to bug a member of parliament.

3. What 'useful info' could an ordinary MP give to "the other side"? Everything that's said in parliament is recorded in Hansard, and can be viewed by anyone at all, regardless of what side they're on.

  Totally-braindead 16:33 03 Feb 08

From what you say FE "2. It is illegal under British law to bug a member of parliament." it appears that if they did indeed bug him they broke the law.
When is it acceptable to bug anyone?
You have someone, who might be perfectly innocent as you say and has been not been tried but is suspected of having links to terrorism and is awaiting a decision as to whether to deport him or not. Now while the man is innocent he is suspected so when is it reasonable to bug people who associate with him?
Perhaps I am being rather naive but surely if you have someone detained who is suspected of links to terrorists then part of the investigation of as to whether he is involved or not must be investigation into anyone he meets?
I'm not saying that the detained man is guilty and I'm not saying that the MP has done anything wrong but how can you investigate him without some sort of surveilance of some description?

  Forum Editor 16:43 03 Feb 08

It's not illegal in the UK to put a bug into a room, provided your access to the room was not obtained illegally, i.e., you had a right to be there.

It's a criminal offence to bug a telephone conversation without a judge's consent.

Successive UK governments have forbidden law enforcement agencies to bug MPs ever since the Wilson Labour government bugging scandal.

You're not being naive at all - terrorist suspects are special cases in several ways, but this man hasn't been charged with anything in this country, and he has no previous convictions. As far as our law is concerned he's as innocent as you or me.

If the Police bugged a conversation between him and his member of parliament (and at the moment nothing has been confirmed by the Home Office), and the bug was deliberately planted to record the conversation, the matter is a very serious one.

  newman35 16:53 03 Feb 08

Is mail, in and out, of prisons 'censored'- if so this seems to be a natural extension to record conversations of suspects.
Terrorism is such a serious matter, that I think the authorities are entitled to overhear any conversations (whilst in custody). If not we have one hand tied behind our backs in this fight. Whether the other party is an MP or not, should not matter.
Does this law which stops MPs being bugged apply to any other people, doctors, lawyers, bricklayers? If not, why not?

  birdface 17:42 03 Feb 08

I would imagine all phone calls letters etc would be checked.Not just because it was a Muslim Mp this would apply to all prisoners.You can't have them phoning a taxi before they escape do you.

  WhiteTruckMan 17:50 03 Feb 08

It's illegal to bug an MP.

But just who decided that it was illegal?

WTM

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