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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

November 19, 2004: Public Inquiry Into Death Of Zahid Mubarek Begins

Over 70 witnesses will be called to give evidence at the Inquiry into the death of Zahid Mubarek, which has started its full hearings. The inquiry will investigate the tragic case of Zahid, 19, who was murdered four years ago, at Feltham Young Offender Institution in west London, and make recommendations to prevent such tragedies in the future. Zahid, of Walthamstow, east London, was killed by his cellmate Robert Stewart, on 21 March 2000, when Stewart hit him about the head with a table leg, while he slept, during the early hours of the morning.

The inquiry is currently scheduled to take oral evidence from 76 witnesses, with 48 people due to give evidence before the end of the year and 28 in January and February, 2005. In total, the inquiry has approached more than 120 individuals to provide witness statements. The inquiry hearings are expected to continue until March, 2005, after which the chairman Mr Justice Keith will write his final report aiming to hand it over to the Home Secretary at the earliest possible opportunity. CrimLinks previously reported on the setting up of the Inquiry here.

A list of those who have been asked to give evidence on each day will be published in advance on the Inquiry website. A full transcript of the hearings will be posted on the site at the end of each day.

The inquiry will take the form of a non-statutory inquiry. A statutory inquiry would have the power to compel witnesses to attend and give evidence, or face contempt of court proceedings. Similarly it would carry with it the power to compel the production of documents, etc. There is no power under the Prisons Act for the Home Secretary to set up a statutory inquiry. In order to make this a statutory inquiry it would have to be held under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921. The 1921 Act is intended to be confined to matters of vital public importance or situations where an event has caused a nationwide crisis of confidence.

Civil servants are expected to co-operate with a non-statutory inquiry under their implied contractual terms and the Civil Service Code. That includes answering all questions and giving a full and truthful account. There is arguably no significant difference in cost, time or scale between a statutory and non-statutory inquiry. All the Inquiry hearings will be in public.

Home Secretary David Blunkett announced the Inquiry on 29th April 2004 following the death of Zahid Mubarek. The aim was to investigate the circumstances which led up to Zahid’s death and make recommendations about the prevention of such attacks in the future. Three expert advisers will assist Inquiry Chairman Mr Justice Keith and his report will be published after the Inquiry has concluded its investigations. The inquiry's legal team has been collecting documentary evidence since April 2004. It has amassed almost 14,500 pages of evidence for consideration. The extent of the evidence gathering that has taken place underlines the fact that Mr Justice Keith is determined that the investigation is both thorough and leaves no stone unturned. The chairman will write his report as quickly as possible, once the hearings have finished, and then present it to the Home Secretary.

Mr Justice Keith said:

"The tragic killing of Zahid Mubarek raises questions of considerable public concern about the treatment of persons in custody. I can assure members of Zahids family and all interested parties that this Inquiry will be the objective and independent public investigation into his death, which the courts have said, should take place. The Inquiry will be as thorough as is necessary, so that the lessons to be learned from Zahid's death can be clearly identified."