Express passage for Anonimity Bill

EMERGENCY legislation is to be rushed through the Commons in just one day as the Government moves to close the loophole on the right of trial witnesses to give evidence anonymously.

Graham Dines

EMERGENCY legislation is to be rushed through the Commons in just one day as the Government moves to close the loophole on the right of trial witnesses to give evidence anonymously.

All stages of the Criminal Evidence (Witness Anonymity) Bill will be debated next Tuesday by MPs, with the Lords examining it two days later with the aim of it becoming law before the long parliamentary summer recess which starts on July 23.

The Law Lords ruled last month that defendants should know who was testifying against them. And it led to one £6 million trial being halted and threatened others.


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Justice Secretary Jack Straw says the use of anonymity is fundamental in cases including murder and terrorism. The Government is taking express action to avoid further cases collapsing and also preventing people appealing against convictions on the grounds that there had been anonymous evidence given at their trial.

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