HL Deb 27 February 2002 vol 631 cc244-5WA
Lord Alton of Liverpool

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Why no criminal proceedings for incitement to racial hatred have been brought against Abu Hamza, Abdulla el Faisal, Omar Bakri Mohammed and Abu Qatada, arising out of their alleged distribution of inflammatory anti-Semitic material. [HL2749]

Lord Rooker

The police are responsible for the investigation of criminal offences including incitement to racial hatred under Part III of the Public Order Act 1986. The police and the Security Service attach a high priority to monitoring and countering any possible activities in the country by extremists. Any credible information is fully investigated. The police may at any time before, during or at the conclusion of an investigation make a request for advice or submit a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS will consider any file submitted by the police with a view to determining whether there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. If the CPS determines that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction in relation to a charge under the Act, the papers must be submitted to the Attorney-General for consent to prosecute.

Of the list of names mentioned, Abdulla el Faisal was arrested by police and charged on 20 February 2002 with soliciting to murder. It would not be appropriate for me to comment any further on individual cases.