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World at One Tuesday, 30 October, 2001, 11:59 GMT
Martin cleared of murder
Norfolk farmer Tony Martin
Tony Martin - sentence reduced on appeal
The Norfolk farmer Tony Martin, who was jailed for the murder of a burglar he shot at his home, has had his conviction reduced on appeal to manslaughter.

In some quarters, Mr Martin became a popular hero for making a stand against crime. Locals organised a campaign to have him freed, saying that he was simply defending himself and his property.

In reducing the charge against him, the Court of Appeal acted solely on the strength of his state of mind - an issue that was not even raised in the original trial. However he still has a year to serve before he is eligible for parole.


If someone attacks me..I can use reasonable force

Mike O'Brien
Labour MP Mike O'Brien, a former home office minister tells us that, while he has sympathy for Tony Martin, he feels the right decision had been made not to quash his conviction altogether, since his actions were 'excessive'. And he denied that this result leaves householders in a weak position when defending their property.

Leader of the Commons Robin Cook said he "deplores" any British Muslim who wants to go and fight for the Taleban. It was claimed yesterday that three British men recruited to fight for the regime had died during a bombing raid in Afghanistan. The government has already warned that any Britons fighting for the Taleban could face prosecution, if they return to this country. However taking further action against them could prove difficult.


Muslims are going to go underground

Abdul Haq
Furthermore, neither death, nor the threat of legal sanction on their return, deters those determined to fight, according to Abdul Haq, a spokesman for the radical Al-Muhajiroun group, which has held rallies and meetings since September 11th, reminding people of their obligations under Islam.

And - what is the government's drugs policy? In the House of Commons today former drugs tsar, Keith Hellawell, was asserting that he had struggled from the start by being in a job with no power base and no support. Is David Blunkett's approach just a change of tone, or a 'seismic shift' away from the policy pursued by Jack Straw? Chris Ledgard investigates.


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 ON THIS STORY
Mike O'Brien:
"If someone attacks me, I can use reasonable force"
Abdul Haq:
"Muslims are going to go underground"
Chris Ledgard:
Government policy on drugs confused
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