A refreshing insight into how the government and security services shamelessly seized on an alleged conspiracy to promote their “war on terror”. ... The plot never existed and no ricin was found. This is an inside story of a six month trial which provides valuable lessons, not least to budding members of MI5 and the police. (Richard Norton-Taylor, Security Editor of the Guardian)
This is a praiseworthy example of a jury, better placed than anyone else to know what really goes on in our criminal justice system, exposing how injustice occurs when fear of terrorism distorts the objectivity of the prosecution process. (Sir Geoffrey Bindman, civil liberties solicitor)
The innocent suspects in Archer’s shocking but highly insightful book live in a world of deep suspicion. This world is prepared to utilise information extracted under torture, to inflate and conflate the threat of terrorism with immigration concerns and, to justify a war of occupation in response to a terrorist plot that only ever existed in the imagination of a government – a government that lied to its own people and forgot to admit it. It is left up to decent men like Lawrence Archer to help pick up the pieces of the lives shattered by this unjust process. (Moazzam Begg, Director of Cageprisoners)
Gripping! I couldn’t put it down. In telling it like it is, Lawrence Archer and Fiona Bawdon have provided some reparation to the innocent Algerians caught up in one of the UK’s most controversial anti-terrorist trials. These Algerians are still fighting to this day to establish that they are not the ‘enemy aliens’ of popular myth, but impoverished exiles struggling to survive in a crushing, hostile world. (Liz Fekete, author of A Suitable Enemy: Racism, Migration and Islamophobia in Europe (Pluto Press, 2009))
About the Author
Lawrence Archer is the telecoms engineer who was foreman of the jury at the 2005 Ricin trial. He has followed the lives of the acquitted defendants ever since, including attending their High Court and immigration appeal hearings.
Fiona Bawdon is a freelance journalist. She writes on criminal and civil justice issues for the national and specialist legal press.