Ebene News – GB – Priti Patel ’caused legal storm’ with ‘ill-advised’ tweet about death of migrants

Home Minister Priti Patel caused a legal storm with an “ill-advised” tweet about the deaths of 39 migrants as the human smuggling trial was ongoing

On October 23, the anniversary of the tragedy, Patel’s Twitter account posted: “A year ago today, 39 people lost their lives in horrific circumstances at the hands of ruthless criminals

“My thoughts remain with all those who were touched by that day, especially the loved ones of those who died so tragically”

The comments were made as the prosecution of four alleged people smugglers linked to the deaths continued in Old Bailey

Commenting on the post, one man wrote: “Dear home secretary An active criminal trial is underway

“Your comments are not judicious and in case you are not aware of such things, for contempt of court”

The post was retweeted and liked over 300 times before it came to the attention of a defense attorney and the trial was halted

In the absence of the jury, Alisdair Williamson QC complained about the description of “ruthless criminals”, especially since she was a senior government minister

He said: “It is needless to say the least and much worse could be said

“I don’t know what course could be taken I know I don’t personally tweet If action could be taken before the jury returns

Prosecutor Bill Emlyn Jones said: “Contacts have been made with the Home Secretary’s office, but I have not been informed of any response.”

Before sending jurors home for the weekend, Judge Sweeney warned them to ignore politicians’ comments on social media

“And whether by politicians, like journalists or others, there is inevitably a risk that such comments could affirm or implicate the guilt, among others, of the men who are in your charge, including two are accused of manslaughter of the victims

“It is a fundamental principle of our criminal justice system that those tried are presumed innocent until proven guilty and it is you and you alone who will decide whether they are guilty or not guilty”

Later, the lawyer and author known as Secret Barrister tweeted: “I suggest @pritipatel start following @attorneygeneral

Home Secretary and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been repeatedly called on to apologize for his comments “hostile” to the profession

On the same day as Patel’s tweet, Judge Sweeney also presided over a preliminary hearing for a man accused of a terrorist plot to kill a lawyer for his role in representing immigrants

Following the guilty verdicts, Patel said: “Today’s convictions only strengthen my resolve to do all I can to deal with human smugglers who prey on people vulnerable and trade in human misery

“I am determined to bring callous human smugglers to justice and to protect our communities from the actions of horrific organized crime groups”

A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “The Home Secretary’s tweet was intended to refer to those involved in the incident who have previously pleaded guilty. The tweet was not intended to make reference to the people involved in the ongoing trial

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Priti Patel, UK, Nick Ferrari

Ebene News – GB – Priti Patel ’caused legal storm’ with ‘ill-advised’ tweet about migrant deaths

Source: https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/brexit-news/westminster-news/priti-patel-migrant-deaths-tweet-6863802