Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Monday, May 10, 1999 Published at 19:09 GMT 20:09 UK


Israel embassy bombers to appeal

The Israeli embassy in London's Kensington was bombed in 1994

Two Palestinians convicted of involvement in the 1994 Israeli embassy bombing have been granted leave to appeal.

The Court of Appeal decision is expected to start a court battle between the Palestinians' lawyers and Home Secretary Jack Straw, who imposed gagging orders on intelligence agency information said to be vital to the defence.

[ image: Samar Alami (above) and Jawed Botmeh were jailed for 20 years]
Samar Alami (above) and Jawed Botmeh were jailed for 20 years
Lord Justice Roch, Mr Justice Butterfield and Mr Justice Holman allowed the appeal to go ahead on the grounds that public interest immunity information was not disclosed and this could have affected the outcome of the trial.

The legal challenge follows an allegation by a former intelligence officer, David Shayler, over how much was known in advance about the embassy plot.

Mr Shayler, now in exile in France following the UK's unsuccessful attempt to extradite him for revealing British secrets, had said the secret service was warned that an attack was imminent.

Israeli secret service agents were also said to have been allowed to visit the site of the bombing and take away material for examination, evidence that might have helped the Palestinians' case.

Michael Mansfield, who is representing Jawed Botmeh and Samar Alami, had argued that this undisclosed information was just the tip of the iceberg and that the rest of the information should be released.

But the home secretary had said that even the MI5 warning would not have prevented the bombing.

Human rights laws

Non-disclosure could also contravene Article 6 of the European Human Rights Convention, which is due to be incorporated into English law.

Botmeh, aged 30, a businessman, and banker's daughter Alami, 32, were jailed for 20 years in December 1996 for conspiracy to cause explosions in the UK.

The pair, both graduates from English universities, were convicted on the basis that they were part of a UK-based extremist terrorist cell, which planned to sabotage the Middle East peace process.

Mr Mansfield is now expected to apply to the judges for a disclosure order if the Crown does not produce the information he wants.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Internet Links

Home Office

Free Samar and Jawad

Embassy of Israel, London


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online