Met ordered to disclose evidence in Welsh undercover relationships case

  

* Press release 7.30pm 25th May 2017 *

  • Judge in Court Hearing about Undercover Cop, Marco Jacob’s, abusive relationships orders Met Police to disclose evidence
  •     Police have been avoiding and delaying disclosure in this case for several years.

A judge this week, has ordered Police that they must disclose evidence in the legal case [1] over undercover police officer ‘Marco Jacob’s abusive sexual relationships that happened while he deployed in Cardiff. This comes in the face of the Police consistently trying to avoid disclosing evidence around this case.

The Undercover Officer had spent 5 years infiltrating anti-capitalist, anarchist, environmental, animal rights and other campaign groups,[2] developing a number of close personal relationships, and in common with several other undercover police who have been exposed, engaged in the sexual abuse of a number of his targets.[3]

Despite having very publicly apologised to seven women [4] for such deceitful long-term intimate relationships and abuses, Police Lawyers are maintaining delaying and avoiding coming to a settlement in relation to this case. Police have had orders to disclose their evidence on several previous occasions, but have so far produced nothing. [5]

In court this week, whilst denying that they are running a campaign of non-compliance in relation to this case, Police Lawyers sought further delays, requesting that these proceedings be delayed until after the Undercover Policing Inquiry. They sought to avoid disclosure completely, by telling the judge that there was a “real risk to life” if there is disclosure, and that any disclosure in this case could reveal other covert intelligence sources in the same group.

The Judge however said that there must be some disclosure, specific to this officer, that can be released, at least in stages, and ordered specific disclosure of the officers interactions with the claimants by the end of August.

“This case has been characterised by long delays and broken promises by the defendants” Heather Williams QC

“I am pleased the Judge continues to order the Police to disclose evidence in this case. Despite admitted the wrongdoing of undercover officers, it beggars belief that the police continue to try to avoid this, and avoid facing up to their responsibilities, heaping extra suffering on the people they targeted.” – Tom Fowler, claimant

Key background info

1] AJA, ARB, & Thomas Fowler (Claimants) -v- Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis,  Chief Constable of South Wales Police, & Association of Chief Police Officers (Defendants). Two women and one man have been suing The Metropolitan Police, South Wales Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers over sexual abuse committed by an undercover police officer in Cardiff – “Marco Jacobs”. Consent orders for settlement for one of female claimants will be imminently sealed by judge. However, the police continue to fight the other claims.

2]

5] Previous court directions had ordered that standard disclosure must be given by 5th December 2016.  A submission by police gave very detailed timetable of their disclosure dates. All have long since passed with no submission of evidence. A full trial date was set for 22nd May 2017, however due to failure of police to disclose, this had to be vacated
— end of background information —

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Fight against police secrecy in Cardiff undercover relationship case continues in court

  • Court Hearing about Undercover Cop, Marco Jacob’s, abusive relationships – Tuesday 23rd May, 10am, Royal Courts of Justice
  • Picket outside Royal Court of Justice at 9am
  • Police continuing to avoid accountability and disclosure

On Tuesday 23rd May, a legal case over undercover police relationships will return to the High Court, following a hearing last year [1], when police were able to push back disclosure of documents relating to the identity of the officer, his training, deployment and supervision.

Two women and one man are suing The Metropolitan Police, South Wales Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers over sexual abuse committed by an undercover police officer in Cardiff – “Marco Jacobs”.[2]

The Undercover Officer had spent 5 years infiltrating anti-capitalist, anarchist, environmental, animal rights and other campaign groups,[3] developing a number of close personal relationships, and in common with several other undercover police who have been exposed, engaged in the sexual abuse of a number of his targets.[4]

Despite having very publicly apologised to seven women [5] for such deceitful long-term intimate relationships and abuses, Police Lawyers are maintaining delaying and avoiding coming to a settlement in relation to this case.  Previous court proceedings moved Human Rights issues to the ‘secret court’ of the IPT.[6] However common law claims against the police are continuing in open court. [7]

On Tuesday 23rd May at 9am, before the Case Management Hearing, there will be a protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice by the claimants and their supporters.[8]

“Despite admitted the wrongdoing of undercover officers, it beggars belief that the police continue to avoid facing up to their responsibilities, heaping extra suffering on the people they targeted.” – Tom Fowler, claimant

Key background info

1. http://www.thecanary.co/2016/06/06/undercover-policing-back-court-police-attempt-withhold-evidence/

2. AJA, ARB, & Thomas Fowler (Claimants) -v- Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis,  Chief Constable of South Wales Police, & Association of Chief Police Officers (Defendants)

3.  http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/jan/19/undercover-police-officer-mark-jacobs
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/welsh-protest-groups-infiltrated-police-1859796
https://southwalesanarchists.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/statement-from-cardiff-anarchist-network-can-on-the-infiltration-by-mark-‘marco’-jacobs/

4. http://powerbase.info/index.php/Marco_Jacobs_(alias)

5. http://news.met.police.uk/news/claimants-in-civil-cases-receive-mps-apology-138574

6. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-24831728

7. http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/2015/03/26/police-concede-marco-jacobs-was-spycop/

8. https://policespiesoutoflives.org.uk/picket-hearing-marco-jacobs/
— end of background information —

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This Tuesday! Picket outside hearing of case around spycop Marco Jacob’s relationships

  • What: Picket outside South Wales Undercover Relationships case hearing
  • Where: The Royal Courts of Justice
  • When: 9am Tuesday 23rd May

Court cases against the police for abusive undercover relationships continue, and next week, the South Wales Case has a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice. Show your support at a picket outside the court!

Two women and one man are suing The Metropolitan Police, South Wales Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers over sexual abuse committed by an undercover police officer in Cardiff – “Marco Jacobs”.

In conducting these abusive and degrading relationships, the police have demonstrated institutional sexism against women, and institutional prejudice against campaigners. The undercover policing scandal shows an utter contempt for our democratic right to participate in social justice campaigning.

You and your friends are needed to be there, to show that these issues are important to us all.

Shows of public support outside court hearings are incredibly powerful. Standing with and supporting people, who are courageously standing up against the state, means they do not feel they are taking this fight alone. It is public interest and outrage around these cases, that has led to the police apologising to 8 women for similar cases, and to the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

We need to keep up the pressure. Without it, they may be able to brush this critical issue for our democracy back under the carpet.

Come to this picket on Tuesday, but if you can’t then make noise about it in another way – talk about it, share on social media, write to your MP.

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Police continue to stall in Undercover relationships case

On Tuesday 7th June, a legal case over undercover police relationships was in the High Court. It was the latest battle in a four year campaign to hold the police to account, and in it the police continued to try to stall these civil proceedings and avoid disclosing evidence. The claimants, two women and a man [1], are suing The Metropolitan Police, South Wales Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers over sexual abuse committed by an undercover police officer in Cardiff – “Marco Jacobs”. [2]Marco_Jacobs

Significantly, the Police backed down from asserting a blanket “Neither confirm nor deny” policy (NCND) to resist disclosing documents relevant to the case, and have now been directed by the court to apply by 23rd September 2016, if they wish, to withhold disclosing documents on the ground that it would damage the public interest.

Despite having very publicly apologised to 8 women for such deceitful long-term intimate relationships and abuses, Police continued their stalling tactics in this case, attempting to put back the timetable to trial as far as possible. This found no favour with Master Davison, nor did their shabby attempt to compel the Claimants to disclose their medical records and endure examination by their psychiatrist before the Police had given evidence.

It is likely that there will now be a hearing in the Autumn on the Police’s disclosure of evidence and public interest immunity, the trial is now set to take place around March 2017.

“Though the abandonment of the false defence of ‘neither confirm nor deny’ is to be welcomed, the request for claimants to disclose medical records before the release of any police evidence whatsoever, illustrates how Police continue to try to avoid being held to account” – Tom Fowler, 3rd claimant

“It beggars belief, that after five years, and despite hand-wringing public assertions that sexual relationships are an abuse and cannot be authorised as a police tactic, the Defendants have continued to bob and weave in this litigation in reliance on technicalities and police procedure.  Jules Carey, Solicitor for the three.

NOTES:

  1. AJA, ARB, & Thomas Fowler (Claimants) -v- Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis,  Chief Constable of South Wales Police, & Association of Chief Police Officers (Defendants)
  1. The Undercover Officer spent 5 years infiltrating anti-capitalist, anarchist, environmental, animal rights and other campaign groups, developing a number of close personal relationships, and in common with several other undercover police who have been exposed, engaged in the sexual abuse of a number of his targets.
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