Dial Embassy For Murder
Poor old Edmond was convicted in his absence in 2006 and now states the murderer "couldn't have been him" because he signed a receipt in a cafe in Staffordshire on the day. Which is evidence the Italian courts could probably have done with in 2004, and isn't a great deal of use to them now (continuity might be a small issue). His defence also argue that Mr Arapi couldn't leave England at that time "due to his immigration status". He now appears conveniently married to a British woman. Finally, there was no "forensic evidence", therefore clearly Mr Arapi COULDN'T have been the offender.
As with the cases of Andrew Symeou or Gary McKinnon, the British media are always on hand to defend those due to stand trial abroad, regardless of the likelihood of a pretty fair trial in the country concerned, or the weight of evidence against them. Of course, when foreigners are accused of killing Brits in the self-same countries, our stance is quite different.
I am sure that miscarriages of justice occur in other European countries and the US as frequently as they do here. But if we expect those countries to send criminals back to us to stand trial for crimes on British soil, the least we can do is return the favour.
I did wonder today, reading this story and the one of the shootings in Cumbria, just where the line should be drawn on press coverage. The Daily Mail seems to have put together an entire time-line and reconstruction of Derrick Bird's rampage, less than an hour after his body was found. And within minutes, eyewitnesses were spilling their stories to live television.
This is all natural, spontaneous reportage, but it does involve broadcasting the free recollections of witnesses who have not been interviewed cognitively in line with procedures for major crimes. It therefore leaves the door wide open for the defendants in such cases - should they be brought to trial and not found dead - to question the accuracy when witness statements are finally taken.
It also makes for somewhat melodramatic news coverage, such as when the in-studio reporter throws to "a live eyewitness" who adds the vital information: "I was nowhere near the scene, heard and saw nothing, but I was terrified!"
But far more importantly, WHY aren't those officers all wearing their hats?
'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in some bookstores and online.