The Big Question: Will phone tapping convict more people, and why are its opponents so worried? – The Independent

Posted July 23rd, 2009 in evidence, interception, news by sally

“Why are we asking this now?

Because a government watchdog has warned against the use of phone-tap evidence in court, following mock trials in which its use gave every indication of being a disaster. Sir Paul Kennedy, the Interception of Communications Commissioner and a former Lord Justice of Appeal, said he could see no way to overcome problems with such evidence, and that the Government should drop its plans. Use of the technique at trials through March and April revealed “real legal and operational difficulties inherent in using intercept as evidence in the UK”, he said, before adding: “I cannot see a way to safely overcome these”. Aside from the immediate question of whether the law should be changed, intercepted phone calls have come under the spotlight with increasing frequency. Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor who now advises David Cameron, revealed this week that he had his phone bugged during his reign at the paper. Last year Sadiq Khan, a Labour MP, had his phone bugged during conversations with a constituent who was suspected of involvement in terrorism.”

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The Independent, 23rd July 2009