Monday, September 08, 2003

Further to the post below, clumsily sent through three times.

Al-Jazeera journo Taysir Alouni was hauled before super-judge Baltasar Garzon today to face charges of aiding and abetting Al-Qa'eda. Result? Nothing. The judge declared a secret process, so there's no way to know what evidence they have on Alouni. Then the accused was sent back to jail, to await trial sometime within the next four years. And that's it.

This is the unsatisfying nature of the Continental European "justice" system, so unlike the good ol' adversarial system we know and love in the Anglosphere. Where we have the concept "justice must be done and be SEEN to be done" they have... well, secret investigative processes. I bet the guys in Guantanamo get more due process than this. Judge Garzon resembles Judge Dredd in that he is both investigator, prosecutor and, uh, Judge.

I don't hold a candle for Al-Jazeera or anything, but imagine a judicial bigshot like Garzon got it into his head that YOU were an Al-Qa'eda terrorist while you were over here enjoying the paella. It would be a long time until you saw the light of day, let me tell ya.

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