The former governor of Delate State, Mr. James Ibori has dragged the government of the United Kingdom to the European Court of Human Rights over inconsistencies in his conviction that saw him serve a five-year sentence in the country.
Find below the paper Ibori’s lawyers filed at the European Court of Human Rights:
IN THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS BETWEEN
James Onanefe IBORI
-v- UNITED KINGDOM
Respondent Government ADDITIONAL SUBMISSIONS ON FACTS AND EVIDENCE
1. This application concerns an unusual provision of United Kingdom law: s17 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (‘RIPA’).
2. It prohibits any reference, in any proceedings, to an intercepted communication or its contents- e.g. an intercepted phone call – in circumstances in which its origin as an intercepted communication is disclosed or could be inferred. The United Kingdom is virtually unique in having such a provision: intercepted communications are used routinely as evidence in court proceedings throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
3. The Applicant alleges that the operation of s17 of RIPA, as applied in the highly unusual circumstances of his case, resulted in a violation of his rights pursuant to Article 6 of ECHR.
4. In summary:
4.1. The Applicant had pleaded guilty to criminal offences but subsequently applied for permission to appeal his convictions in light of the disclosure of new material. The Court of Appeal held a hearing to determine that
application. During an adjournment of the hearing, Ms Sasha WASS QC (‘SWQC’), who had previously been instructed to prosecute the Applicant, sent a note to the Court of Appeal (‘the Wass Note’).
4.2. It was a highly unusual because it provided information from which it could be easily inferred that the source of the new material on which the Applicant’s appeal was based was, in fact, intercepted communications. Such a disclosure is prohibited in all court proceedings by s17 of RIPA.
4.3. In response to the Wass Note, and in an effort to attempt to comply with s17 of RIPA for the remainder of the hearing, the Court of Appeal imposed ‘Ground Rules’ on the parties. This limited what the Applicant’s counsel could refer to in his submissions.
4.4. The Applicant submitted to the Court of Appeal – and submits in this application – that s17 of RIPA, combined with the ‘Ground Rules’, prevented him from properly developing his submissions before the Court of Appeal. As a result his appeal hearing was unfair.
Find below the document bearing the stamp of the European Court of Human Rights as proof that the Court received the case: