19 June 2008

Law Lords’ ruling on anonymous witnesses

There was a useful new judgement this week regarding the use of anonymous witnesses in trials, when the Law Lords ruled on the case of Ian Davis. The ruling has been published on The Times website.

In my own trial claims made by Viktor Oshchenko, Vasili Mitrokhin and Dr Reginald Humphryes were all put before the Court, with no attempt made to identify that they were the sources of the “evidence”, or any explanation why they were not going to be called as witnesses. These were effectively anonymous witnesses as far as the jury were concerned. However, with the draconian rules of the Official Secrets Act, and all such trials being held in camera, it seems this is just another “normal” practice that prosecutors can use to gain an unfair advantage, and they need such unfairness when they have a weak case and need to pull out all the stops. Why should anything surprise me when we are talking about the way that British Justice works?

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