14th May 2004Mouloud features in Taking liberties. In this movie, you will see the very sordid life that was imposed on him by this Government. I briefly met him after the preview showing. My very best wishes to him especially as, according to the BBC, Home Office minister Tony McNulty is considering persecuting him further: ‘We are disappointed, however, that the SIAC has determined that Sihali does not pose a threat to our national security. The government's highest priority is to protect public. We will be examining the determination closely to establish whether we have an avenue to appeal to the Court of Appeal and, if so, we will seek to overturn the decision.’
Today is a great day for Mouloud Sihali, his supporters and for justice.
As a jury, we sat through an incredibly lengthy and expensive trial, assessed all the evidence and came back with a verdict of Not Guilty on all the charges levelled against Mouloud Sihali. After the trial, several of the jury were shocked when the government proposed the deportation of all the cleared defendants in the Ricin Trial back to Algeria, to face an unknown and potentially dangerous fate. However, we were absolutely appalled when Mouloud Sihali was re-arrested and thrown into jail, without any charges proffered against him. His treatment since his release from jail has angered and dismayed us; under a strict bail regime he has been robbed of his freedom, treated unfairly and held under draconian conditions that shame us as a nation. Only his immense inner strength, the support of his friends and, ultimately, the belief in his innocence has seen Mouloud through dark days of what amounts to psychological torture
Although we do not approve of the SIAC system, with its shadowy policy of closed court sessions and secret evidence, which the defendant and even his lawyers are not allowed to see, we are grateful that Justice Mitting and his colleagues have reached a sensible conclusion. Mouloud Sihali is judged not to be a threat to national security; something that we jurors have always firmly believed.
We hope now that Mouloud Sihali can be left to live his life in peace and at last has the freedom to make a choice as to what he does with his future, without the damning label of “terrorist” or “threat to national security” hung around his neck.
Recent rulings by the Special Immigrations Appeals Commission (SIAC) - thanks to the excellent British and Irish Legal Information Institute BAILII database: