Suspiciously Unsuspicious

Another day of travelling, but one thing stuck in my mind about the DeMenenzes inquest, one of the parts of the leading questions the fuzz friendly coroner inflicted on the jurors.

4) Do you consider that any of the following factors caused or contributed to the death of Mr de Menezes?
<…>
e) The innocent behaviour of Mr de Menezes which increased the suspicions of some officers. Jury: No

I mean really, not reaching or anything was old coroner ‘Sir’ Michael Wright. ‘Sir’ as in loyal & faithful services to the crown, you dig? Anyway together with that was this frankly hilarious addendum to The Independent story-

John Cooper, a criminal law expert at chambers in 25 Bedford Row, London, said prosecutions against police officers for perjury are rare, writes Robert Verkaik, Law Editor. “Just because a jury disbelieves the evidence of the police it does not follow they think the officer is lying. If there were to be a perjury trial every time the jury rejected police evidence, the system would break down.” But if the coroner considers there is evidence that a witness has lied to frustrate the course of justice, he may refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The family can ask the CPS to review the evidence. As a last resort the family can bring a private prosecution.

Yes heaven forfend the system gets in trouble, much better the police can lie with impunity, that way everyone keeps their nice little earners as justice rolls along.

Arundhati Roy on Mumbai Attacks

In the Guardian, Arundhati Roy: Mumbai was not our 9/11, excerpt-

There is a fierce, unforgiving fault-line that runs through the contemporary discourse on terrorism. On one side (let’s call it Side A) are those who see terrorism, especially “Islamist” terrorism, as a hateful, insane scourge that spins on its own axis, in its own orbit and has nothing to do with the world around it, nothing to do with history, geography or economics. Therefore, Side A says, to try and place it in a political context, or even try to understand it, amounts to justifying it and is a crime in itself.

Side B believes that though nothing can ever excuse or justify terrorism, it exists in a particular time, place and political context, and to refuse to see that will only aggravate the problem and put more and more people in harm’s way. Which is a crime in itself.

The sayings of Hafiz Saeed, who founded the Lashkar-e-Taiba (Army of the Pure) in 1990 and who belongs to the hardline Salafi tradition of Islam, certainly bolsters the case of Side A. Hafiz Saeed approves of suicide bombing, hates Jews, Shias and Democracy and believes that jihad should be waged until Islam, his Islam, rules the world. Among the things he said are: “There cannot be any peace while India remains intact. Cut them, cut them so much that they kneel before you and ask for mercy.”

And: “India has shown us this path. We would like to give India a tit-for-tat response and reciprocate in the same way by killing the Hindus, just like it is killing the Muslims in Kashmir.”

But where would Side A accommodate the sayings of Babu Bajrangi of Ahmedabad, India, who sees himself as a democrat, not a terrorist? He was one of the major lynchpins of the 2002 Gujarat genocide and has said (on camera): “We didn’t spare a single Muslim shop, we set everything on fire … we hacked, burned, set on fire … we believe in setting them on fire because these bastards don’t want to be cremated, they’re afraid of it … I have just one last wish … let me be sentenced to death … I don’t care if I’m hanged … just give me two days before my hanging and I will go and have a field day in Juhapura where seven or eight lakhs [seven or eight hundred thousand] of these people stay … I will finish them off … let a few more of them die … at least 25,000 to 50,000 should die.”