Two London-based men accused of inciting terrorist attacks in Pakistan were acting in self-defence, a court heard yesterday.Hmmm, they too must be planning their hopes on the planned relaxation of standards for convictions, but I think they will be hard pressed to claim Pakistan has subjected them to a campaign of domestic violence, especially given that they have lived in London for years…
Faiz Baluch, 27, from Wembley, north London, and Hyrbyair Marri, 40, from Ealing, west London, have both pleaded not guilty to assisting terrorism and incitement to murder abroad.Well, of course! The USA made them set up that website!
Defending Baluch, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC told Woolwich crown court he was a "casualty of geopolitics" and the US-led war on terror.
"This case is not about jihad or al-Qaida or Osama bin Laden," said Kennedy. "These men abhor the distortion of Islam by Osama bin Laden."‘Classic self-defence’…?
She said the people of Baluchistan were "suffering a slow death" at the hands of the Pakistan government. Their land had been used for nuclear weapons tests in 1998, which had caused cancer and leukaemia. Those who protested against the behaviour of the Pakistani authorities, she said, faced prison, torture and death.
"This case is about classic self-defence, not regime change." If the case was not so serious, she said, "it would be laughable."
Isn’t that best done by, well, fighting to free the land of the evil oppressor yourself, in person? Running a website inciting other people to do it while you lounge around in front of a PC monitor screen thousands of miles away doesn’t seem to meet the standard required to be considered ‘self-defence’, but maybe it’s just me…
After 9/11, said Kennedy, "a lot of nations called their dissidents terrorists" and the former Pakistani dictator, Pervez Musharraf, had used this excuse to label the Baluchis as such. "In law, people are entitled to defend themselves," she said. "If the Germans had marched into Britain, we would have been entitled to resist."And we would, but I can’t see that ‘Dad’s Army’ would have been such a televisual success for the BBC if Mainwaring, Pike and the gang had achieved this ‘resistance’ by fleeing overseas and spending their time on t’interweb running a website inciting terrorism….
Still, nice try, Helena. That’s why they pay you the big bucks as a QC, isn’t it..?
Giving evidence, Baluch said he had been born in the part of Baluchistan now in Iran but had been educated in Quetta, which was under the control of Pakistan. He came to Britain as an asylum seeker in 2002, and worked as a kitchen porter in Coventry before meeting fellow exile Marri and moving to London.And now he’s on trial for inciting terrorism. Another asylum success story!