Barristers Julian Norman and CalamityJane/BeautifulBurnout combine in amazing suggestion that High Court judge presided over an immigration show trial.

Mao still dominates the main square in Chengdu, June 2006

Mao still dominates the main square in Chengdu, June 2006

Barristers Julian Norman and CalamityJane/BeautifulBurnout combine in amazing suggestion that High Court judge presided over an immigration show trial.

Ms Norman writes:

“A system that returns failed asylum seekers is entirely appropriate, but one that hires a private plane at vast expense to get a dying man out of the country begins to look like the immigration equivalent of a show trial – a show removal designed to uphold the home secretary’s power at the expense of the most basic humanitarian instincts.”

Now anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the history of show trials – a major feature of the world’s Stalinist regimes from the 1920s to the present day, will understand how ludicrous it is to suggest that the Home Office decision to hire a plane to deport someone who has exhausted a long and thorough appeal process within the English legal system is the “immigration equivalent of a show trial”.  I do not believe that either barrister is so ignorant of show trials to suggest otherwise, so why make the comparison?

The Home Office decision can be called many things from totally appropriate on humanitarian grounds, to the most barbaric act ever ordered by a government department, and everything in between. What it cannot be called is a show trial because the decision to rent a plane is in no way a show trial.

As such the only possible reason for making this accusation is to throw doubt on and denigrate the system of justice that resulted in the judge allowing the Home Office to deport Mr Muaza.

Yet when challenged on her use of the words “show trial”, Ms Norman confirmed that she was referring to Mr Muaza’s most recent court case with:

“I was thinking more along the lines of the Chinese show trials of the 60s, where trials were held with inevitable guilty verdicts as a warning to other would-be dissidents.”

So is she saying that the Home Office took its decision because the trial would have an inevitable guilty verdict?

Perhaps Ms Norman was thinking about Liu Shaoqi, the one time President of China, who met his fate at the hands of Mao’s Red Guards:

“Liu was badly mistreated in custody, possibly as a way to kill him off extrajudicially or just for the sadistic pleasure of bringing one who once stood so high to the depths of literally wallowing in his own shit. By summer 1968 Liu was suffering from pneumonia, cankered with bedsores, and could only be fed through a nasal tube. His neglectful medical care gradually wasted him death.”

BeautifulBurnout leaped to her fellow barrister’s defence with “Neither she nor I have claimed he was subject to a show trial“, but offered nothing by way of justifying how the Home Office renting a plane could in anyway be the equivalent of a show trial.

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