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HomeUK NewsJudge who declined to jail terrorism offence trio to be investigated

Judge who declined to jail terrorism offence trio to be investigated

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A senior judge who spared jail terms for three women protesters, accused of displaying pro-Hamas images during a pro-Palestinian march in London, will now be investigated over his alleged bias, The Times reports.

Heba Alhayek (29), Pauline Ankunda (26), and Noimutu Olayinka Taiwo (27) were found guilty of a terror offence after they displayed paraglider images supporting Hamas, a banned outfit, during a protest on October 14 last year.

The Hamas attackers had used paragliders to enter Israel on October 7 last year and carry out deadly attacks that killed over 1,000 people.

The women denied charges under terrorism laws of carrying or displaying an article to arouse reasonable suspicion that they are Hamas supporters.

Their lawyers suggested they were displaying images of parachute emoji.

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But prosecutors argued it was “no coincidence” the defendants were displaying the images so soon after the attack, and it amounted to the glorification of Hamas.

Deputy Senior District Judge Tanweer Ikram said the image was wrongly described as a paraglider by the police and prosecution, and felt there was no evidence that any of the women supported Hamas.

Judge Ikram handed each woman a 12-month conditional discharge – they will not face punishment unless they commit further offences.

Now the British Pakistani judge will be investigated after it emerged that he had recently liked an anti-Israel social media post.

Ikram had liked a message posted by a barrister on LinkedIn stating that Israel had allowed the October 7 attacks.

Campaigners had called for the ruling to be reviewed and for the judge to face disciplinary action after his alleged social media activity came to light.

They argue that after liking a pro-Palestine post he ought to have recused himself from the trial for apparent bias.

The judge reportedly said he didn’t know he had liked the post and if he did it was a mistake.

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office is expected to complete the probe into Ikram’s alleged bias within a month, the daily said.

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