Gives you a warm feeling

‘Lyrical terrorist’ has conviction quashed | UK news | guardian.co.uk

A former Heathrow shop assistant who called herself the “lyrical terrorist” and was the first woman sentenced under new anti-terror laws today had her conviction overturned.

Samina Malik, 24, from Southall, west London, was convicted under section 58 of the Terrorism Act in November last year after she wrote poems celebrating the beheading of non-Muslims.

Today, she won an appeal against her conviction for collecting personal information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

The lord chief justice, Lord Phillips, sitting in the court of appeal with Justice Goldring and Justice Plender, quashed the conviction after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) conceded it was unsafe.

Phillips explained in today’s judgment that in February the court of appeal gave detailed consideration to section 58 of the Terrorism Act. It ruled that an offence would be committed only if the document or record concerned was likely to provide practical assistance to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

Propagandist or theological material did not fall within the section, he said.

In Malik’s case, the jury was told 14 documents – out of 21 – that did not fall within Section 58 were also capable of founding a conviction.

I’m a little confused by the prosecution’s closing comment, along the lines that, yeah, they clearly couldn’t get a conviction at retrial with the evidence they had left, but they were glad they’d brought the case anyway.

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