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The justice system so applauded by writer is the same one that let down so many wrongly accused

Letter of the day: wrongful convictions

Published 16/11/2016

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob (Write Back, November 9) is generous in his praise for the British judicial system, referring to it as the envy of the world.

Dr Munjed says "people from around the globe come to the UK to have their cases heard by the country's high court, relishing the thought that they would be treated as fairly as possible".

As a regular contributor to your newspaper, perhaps it would have been prudent for him to have taken the time to familiarise himself with British justice.

For instance, the families of the 14 innocent people shot dead by British soldiers in Derry on Bloody Sunday in 1972 had to endure the appalling indignity and lies of the Widgery Report, which branded the victims terrorists. Despite the fact the subsequent Saville Inquiry exonerated those killed, no one was ever prosecuted for this massacre.

This was a time when the Guildford Four, Annie Maguire and her children, and the Birmingham Six were conspired against by many in the British legal system. The allegations of conspiracy against the Birmingham Six were so overwhelming that even former Northern Ireland Secretary of State Merlyn Rees and Cardinal Basil Hume of Westminster campaigned for their release.

Most damning of all was the statement by Lord Denning, then Master of the Rolls, when interviewed on the Birmingham Six conspiracy theories. His view was: "If the six men win, it will mean that the police are guilty of perjury, that they are guilty of violence and threats, that the confessions were invented and improperly admitted in evidence and the convictions were erroneous. This is such an appalling vista that every sensible person in the land would say that it cannot be right that these actions should go any further."

The standard of British justice Dr Munjed praises falls far short of my values.

TOM COOPER

Chairperson, Irish National Congress

Belfast Telegraph

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