Friday, June 20, 2008

Forest Gate raid - compensation to be paid but no apology for smears

I should have blogged on this days ago - Scotland Yard is to pay compensation to the two brothers caught up in the Forest Gate anti-terror raid compensation - since it was the subject of one of this blog's very first entries, The drip drip drip of curious police leaks two years ago.

The police have reportedly agreed to pay Mohamed Abdul Kahar and Abul Koyair £60,000 as "gesture of goodwill". They were arrested when armed police, acting on a tip off that they were hiding a chemical bomb, burst into their East London home. The pair were then held in custody for a week.

Jolly decent of the Met to cough up for all this of course but no one is going to pay for the other nasty little trick played on the brothers who had the temerity to complain about their treatment; smearing them as users of kiddie porn on the front page of the News of the Screws. Quite obviously this charge turned out to be completely baseless despite the story (since pulled from the Screws website) quoting a source, unnamed as usual, confidently declaring 'there is strong evidence to support charges'.

As this blog noted at the time there seems to be something of a pattern of high profile victims of police malpractice being smeared in one way or another, frequently as sex offenders. It was put about that the dead Jean Charles de Menezes had been a rape suspect (DNA evidence later cleared him) and that Stephen Lawrence's friend Dwayne Brooks was a rapist (cleared again).

There's no way of telling just how damaging these smears can have been but they always go unpunished, not least because the "sources" on which they are based operate in the shadows. So this nasty weapon in the police's armoury will undoubtedly be used for many years to come.

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