The long awaited Operation Ore appeal has failed in what sounds like a politically motivated attempt to save the Police, CEOP and the Crown Prosecution Service from accute embarrassment.
In a frightening echo of the infamous Lord Denning when he rejected the appeal of the Birmingham Six, the judge in this appeal said,
“We have no hesitation in rejecting this evidence as incapable in belief. It was mere assertion, unsupported by any published or other material or any reasoning.”
Denning had similarly refused the appeal of the Birmingham Six on the basis that, were it allowed to succeed, it would mean that the Police had lied and that would be too much for the public to bear.
The solicitor who brought the Operation Ore appeal that was finally rejected yesterday has however questioned whether the British courts had the expertise to consider deeply technical cases.
Chris Saltrese, the solicitor who brought the case on behalf of Anthony O’Shea, told us today that in his view, the verdict was “not based on the evidence”.
Speaking on the dismissal of O’Shea’s appeal against his conviction for incitement to distribute an indecent photograph of a child, he told us: “This is a disappointing judgment but not unexpected.
“The Court of Appeal decided to hear a two week case in two days by not hearing the evidence,” he claimed.
“As a result, the Court overlooked the key issues in the written submissions. It substituted its own version of the significant evidence.”
“The Court’s version did not include the core evidence on which the appeal was based.
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has recommended that the Government review the availability of independent specialist advice in court cases involving Internet-related crime, Saltrese said. “The conduct of this case suggests that such a step may now be timely.
“Landslide [the database in which O’Shea’s details were found] was not a child pornography portal. It was an Internet vehicle through which criminal webmasters processed stolen credit-card information,” Saltrese continued. “The evidence is clear but was overlooked by the Court.
“We would stress that we remain convinced that Operation Ore in general, and this case in particular, was seriously flawed and a miscarriage of justice.”
TheOpinionSite.org is not surprised at the judgement. In a previous article (http://theopinionsite.org/?p=247) we suggested that for the sake of not undermining the police and prosecution authorities, the appeal was most likely to be dismissed. For those involved however, that is of no comfort.
The British Criminal Justice System, for all the misplaced respect it receives, is arguably one of the most corrupt in Europe, with moving goal posts and political interference – particularly with regard to the Court of Appeal – being inherent in the system.
Very few appeals succeed in the UK and, when connected with any type of child sex offence, there is almost no hope of success. When the appellant does manage to succeed, the child protection lobby and those with vested interests try to play down the victory or try and kill any publicity associated with it.
Jim Gamble, the former head of CEOP who was responsible for Operation Ore is gloating at this moment. His victory may be short lived however.
With so many people involved in what many believe to be a huge miscarriage of justice, it is unlikely that this is the end of the Operation Ore affair. Some months will pass before much else is heard but it is unlikely that Saltrese and his clients will simply give up.
If he is correct and the British courts really are simply incompetent then frankly, that does not come as any great surprise. TheOpinionSite.org believes however that it is more likely the case that the Justice System hates to lose and that there may well have been interference from both the Lord Chancellors Department and the Home Office.
In the UK, the Government will do whatever it takes to maintain what it terms ‘public confidence‘ in the Criminal Justice System, no matter how many possibly innocent men are convicted as a result.