21 January 2007

Ruth Turner Arrest

I sense that opinion is divided over whether the police were right to turn up at Ruth Turner's home at 6.30am on Friday morning to arrest her and take her in for questioning. For the record, I am sure the police were grandstanding. They could have easily have rung her up, or rung her solicitors (if she has instructed any) and asked her to come in for an appointment, to be arrested and be questioned. In the highly unlikely event that she had done a runner, this could have been taken as a clear indication of her guilt.

I have been told that when IT forensics people are called into companies to perform internal investigations into fraud or corruption, they give the suspect a two hour warning that his/her PC is to be examined. This way, if the suspect is guilty, he/she will delete the incriminating files there and then and it is a relatively simple task to search the hard drive for files "deleted" in the previous two hours. I digress.

I am more appalled by the whining from the police about "political interference". Friends and colleague of a suspect rallying round can hardly be criticised if they are genuinely concerned. The fact that they are all politicians is neither here nor there. In fact, it might just encourage them to speak up, if their doing so upsets the officers in charge (who clearly need to grow a backbone if they are going to conduct these sort of inquiries).

The fact that the police are going after Turner for "perverting the course of justice" makes me think that they have not got anything on anyone for the main event. It rather reminds me of the investigation of Martha Stewart in the US who was investigated for insider trading. She was not prosecuted for that, but since she had misled the police during their investigation, she could done for that. In both cases the authorites were/are desperate to get "a result" and don't really care what for.

I would be thrilled to see the Labour government exposed as the bunch of corrupt hypocrites that they are, but I am with those who say the police need to put up or shut up before they do anymore unwarranted damage to our entire political system

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