Wang Yam Knocked Back by European Court of Human Rights
[Editor’s Note: Was this decision without bias. The Judgment was given by a Chamber of seven judges, one of whom was the UK appointee?]
The European court of human rights has dismissed the appeal by the former Chinese dissident and MI6 informant Wang Yam that he had not had a fair trial because his defence evidence was held in secret on grounds of national security. In the latest chapter of the long-running case, the court ruled that the exclusion of press and public from his trial for murder in 2008 had not resulted in unfairness.
Wang Yam, now 58, was charged with the murder of the 86-year-old writer Alan Chappelow at the latter’s home in Hampstead, north London in 2006. At his trial in 2008 the judge, in an unprecedented move in an English court, ordered that his evidence be heard behind closed doors in the interest of national security. After two trials he was convicted of murder and mail theft by a majority verdict and jailed for life.
Wang Yam claimed that his right to a fair trial, a central principle upheld by the European convention on human rights, was denied because of the evidence heard in camera. He also said the UK breached the convention by refusing to allow the European court of human rights judges to have sight of his defence case.
The Strasbourg court has always been reluctant to challenge claims by governments in the interests of “national security in a democratic society”, a claim specifically set out in the European convention on human rights. The judges ruled that it was “pure speculation” that third parties would have offered to give evidence if Wang’s defence had been in open court.
Read more: Duncan Campbell and Richard Norton-Taylor, Guardian, https://is.gd/OTMHwG
Download the full ECHR decision: https://is.gd/5nzhEv
Wang Yam Gets Shafted by UK Supreme Court, https://is.gd/Vnx1rw
Messages of Solidarity: Wang Yam: A5928AL, HMP Lowdham Grange, Old Epperstone Road, Lowdham, NG14 7DA