28 November 2008

Daniel James sentenced to 10 years imprisonment

It is sad that Daniel James had little chance of gaining an acquittal at his trial, even though the jury failed to reach verdicts on 2 of the 3 charges. The odds were stacked against him from the start. He should have faced a Court Martial, but was forced into a civilian Crown Court trial by the Attorney General, and then further restrictions were placed on him in preparing for that trial.

Giovanni di Stefano has released a statement about the case, which shows his disappointment with the way the English courts are allowed to get away with their medieval and unjust practices. I expect the English way of Law is a hangover from the days when burning at the stake and being hung, drawn and quartered were the standard methods of punishment.

GIOVANNI DI STEFANO: " I have stated in the past that there would be an issue of the 'effectiveness' of the legal representation of Danny James. It was my intention to make a detailed statement regarding, what I HAD considered, to have been serious failing from the solicitors that I had recommended to Danny James and of Counsel that I had spoken to and recommended to the solicitors.

Although my misgivings continue I am not of the view that both Solicitors (Tank Jowett) and Counsel (Colin Nichols QC) can be blamed entirely. The Crown placed both Solicitors and Counsel in a position whereby Danny James did not receive 'effective' legal advice of his own free choosing.

Now that will not succeed in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division because the said Court has slowly but steadily become seriously intellectually dishonest in the way appeals are conducted. However, these matters are issues which the European Court of Human Rights may well take heed.

At this stage, in my view, both the Solicitors and Counsel had no other choice but to follow the written undertakings that the Crown imposed imposed upon them which are similar undertaking that have been forced upon other lawyers in other cases. In my own view those undertaking detract the justice and 'fairness' out of any trial as it restricts unreasonable the right of an accused at consulting whoever the accused choses.

As a short example both Tank Jowett Solicitors and Colin Nichols QC could not discuss the case or the papers with anyone else even with lawyers of Danny's own choosing. The reason was that the papers contained elements that were so secret that only a select few could know. Yet, at trial the judge failed to impose any reporting restrictions or any order under the Contempt of Court Act.

For these reasons regardless of whether or not Danny James was guilty or innocent (I hold my own views) he did not receive a fair trial and NOTHING within his case EVER could have placed ANYONE in danger. Until such time as these kind of restrictions are precluded and justice becomes open there will always be miscarriages of justice in the English courts and the likes of Danny James will always have grounds to complain.

This trial and investigation has cost the taxpayer almost £2 MILLION pounds exclusive of legal fees for Prosecuting Counsel, defence Counsel and Trial Solicitors probably another £500,000-£750,000 or so and then the cost of a further three years imprisonment, remembering that Danny has already served two years so a further £1.5 million pounds. Then the cost of his supervision for two years upon release.

It makes no sense. The information that Danny had on a USB Flash memory was readily available on the internet and in greater detail. And if Danny was such a spy we must remember he was in the Military quite a while and that must say more about the methods of positively vetting and the UK Military than a simple interpreter that enjoyed salsa dancing. And all to the cost of the taxpayer." GDS

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