British Justice Secretary Jack Straw will make a statement about claims that a senior Muslim MP was bugged by police while meeting with a constitutent in prison. Conservatives want to know what the Brown government knew about Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorism unit. The police allegedly listened into a private conversation between Sadiq Khan, a Labor whip, and Babar Ahmad, who is facing extrdition to the United States for trial over supposedly running a website to raise funds for Chechen separatists and Afghanistan’s Taliban. Ahmad is a childhood friend of the MP.
The director of Liberty, a human rights group, said there could only be a case for bugging if the Labor MP was a suspect in a criminal case. Khan said: “I’m pleased Jack Straw, as soon as he heard about these allegations, has ordered an inquiry… the implications are quite serious.” This is merely another example of how fear of “terrorists” has clouded our basic rights for free speech and the right to privacy.