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Homeland Security

UK freeze of terror suspect assets ruled unlawful

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

London, Jan 27, IRNA -- The British government Wednesday suffered another blow to its counter-terrorism strategies after the Supreme Court ruled that special Treasury orders to freeze the assets of suspects are unlawful.

Judges at the UK's highest court said the government had exceeded its powers by controlling the finances of five suspects. They also lifted a ban on identifying the men who brought the challenge.

The court said ministers should have sought parliament's approval for freezing assets, rather than creating it automatically, in a ruling that leaves the future of the regime in doubt.

Earlier this month, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Britain’s anti-terrorism stop and search powers used tens of thousands of times by police were illegal.

The government has also been forced to lift control orders against terrorist suspects following landmark judgment last year that they cannot be imposed on secret evidence.

Two orders to freeze assets, Terrorism (UN Measures) Order 2006 and the 2006 al-Qaeda and Taleban (UN Measures) Order, were brought in by Prime Minister Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer to implement Security Council resolutions.

But in its ruling, the Supreme Court said that if the government wanted to take "far-reaching measures" to combat terrorism then it needed the approval of parliament.

The case also argued that the British system went beyond what the UN had set out to do by targeting those accused of links to terrorism, rather than any link at trial.

The five suspects bringing the legal challenge were named as Mohammed al-Ghabra, Hani el Sayed Sabaei Youssef, Michael Marteen, formerly Mohammed Tunveer Ahmed, Mohammed Jabar Ahmed and Mohammed Azmir Khan.

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End News / IRNA / News Code 923078



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