Trial of TA soldier on charges of spying for the enemy

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Dread, Jul 13, 2007.

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  1. I am not interested in a debate of "is he" or "isn't he" guilty, I am just wondering why he is being held in a civvie prison and being tried in a civvy court?

    Surely as a mobilised soldier at the time of the alleged offences he should be tried by General Court Martial?

    Anyone know why he is being tried at the Old Bailey? Is it a legal reason or just because the powers that be want a conviction and know that the Army legal eagles couldn't convict a bear for shitting in the woods or the Pope for hanging out his beachtowel on his balcony on a Sunday?

    Clicky

    And for those whose office Gestapo stop them from reading the BBC site:

    British soldier denies spy charge
    An army interpreter accused of spying has pleaded not guilty to two charges under the Official Secrets Act.
    Daniel James, 44, worked in Afghanistan for General David Richards, the former British commander of Nato forces.

    The charges allege the Territorial Army soldier passed on information useful to an "enemy" - thought to be Iran.
    Mr James, of Cliff Road, Brighton, who also pleaded not guilty to misconduct in public office, will go on trial at the Old Bailey on February 5 next year.

    Appearing via video link at the Old Bailey from Woodhill prison where he is on remand, he said he should be tried in a military court and not a criminal one.
    "I am a serving soldier. I wish to be court martialled by the Army," he said.

    "I do not recognise this court. I am an innocent man."

    Iran-born Mr James, who became a British citizen in 1986, speaks Farsi and Dari.

    The Official Secret Act charges accuse him of communicating information and collecting information on a USB computer device in November 2006..
     
  2. Perhaps because breach of the Official Secrets act is a civil, rather than a military offence.

    Similary a soldier who is charged with a traffic offence is generally tried in front of a magistrate.
     
  3. But the offence happened in Afghanistan, not the UK. Would the RMP try and have a soldier tried by Aldershot magistrates court if caught speeding in Kabul?

    Also there must be military offences relating to the passing of information to the 'enemy'.
     
  4. In common with existing Arrse Policy concerning discussion of pending or in session Courts-Martial or trial in the Civilian Courts of Forces Personnel, this thread is closed until the conclusion of the trial.

    PTP
     
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