Bomb plotter Nezar Hindawi loses parole bid

 

Bomb plotter Nezar Hindawi, who was jailed for 45 years over his bid to blow up an Israeli airliner, has lost his bid to be released on parole, sources said today.

Hindawi was jailed in 1986 after planting a bomb in his pregnant fiancee's hand luggage for a flight from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv.

He has lost his application for early release, which was referred back to the Parole Board in April last year, sources said.

The 57-year-old Jordanian's release date, without parole, falls in May 2016.

The High Court in London has previously declared the parole decision-making process in his case "unfair and legally flawed".

Lord Justice Thomas and Mrs Justice Nicola Davies quashed refusals by Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke and his predecessor Jack Straw to accept earlier Parole Board recommendations that Hindawi should be released and deported.

The Parole Board recommended Hindawi's release and deportation to Jordan as far back as November 2009.

It concluded that he presented "no more than a minimal risk to the public and his remaining risk could be safely managed".

But successive Government ministers have kept him in prison serving what is believed to be the longest specific jail term imposed by an English court.

Hindawi's lawyers described them as "implacably opposed" to his early release, triggering a series of legal battles.

All parties agreed in April that the matter should go back to the Parole Board for a final decision because the Justice Secretary no longer has the power to make further decisions on Hindawi's release.

The power was removed in such cases by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.

Hindawi was jailed after hiding Semtex explosive in the luggage of his pregnant fiancee, Irish woman Anne-Marie Murphy, then 32, without her knowledge, but the explosives were detected and the plot was foiled - avoiding a potential loss of 375 lives.

Hindawi became eligible to be considered for parole in 2001 after serving one third of his sentence.

Successive Government ministers rejected his applications for early release, leading to a series of legal battles.

David Blunkett, while home secretary, refused in 2003 to refer his case to the Parole Board.

Then, in November 2009, former justice secretary Jack Straw refused to accept a Parole Board recommendation that Hindawi be released - a decision upheld by his successor, Mr Clarke.

Hindawi was from a well-to-do Palestinian family whose land was expropriated by Israel, and the family had become refugees in Jordan.

His early life was surrounded by conflict. He was 12 when the Middle East Six Day War broke out and the village where he lived was burned.

The judge said this was highly relevant to him being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

He joined the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), became a writer and travelled to London.

It was in London that he began his relationship with Ms Murphy, whom he sent to board the aircraft with the bomb.

Mr Straw concluded there was "insufficient evidence" that the risk he posed had reduced to the extent where it would be safe to release him.

But Lord Justice Thomas dismissed Mr Straw's conclusion as flawed, with "no rational basis".

The judge ruled there had been "an unfair process that did not put the Secretary of State in a position to make a rational decision".

A Parole Board spokesman said: "The only legal question which the parole review has to answer is the risk of a further offence occurring during the parole window, weighed against the benefits to the prisoner and public of a longer period of testing on parole.

"Risk is the overriding factor."

He went on: "When making their judgment the board will take into account the nature of the index offence, the prisoner's offending history, the prisoner's progress in prison, any statement made on behalf of the victim(s), psychologist's reports, probation officer's reports, prisons officer's reports, any statistical risk assessments that have been completed and the view of the Secretary of State.

"It is not the policy of the board to comment on or confirm its decisions or reasons in individual cases such as this."

Hindawi's lawyer Daniel Guedalla, of Birnberg Peirce & Partners, declined to comment on the result of the hearing.

PA

Life & Style
tech
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvRicky Gervais on the return of 'Derek' – and why he still ignores his critics
Sport
Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates his goal
sport
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatreReview: Of Mice and Men, Longacre Theatre
Life & Style
Infant child breast-feeding with eyes closed
healthTo stop mummy having any more babies, according to scientists
News
news
Arts & Entertainment
film
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Arts & Entertainment
Homer meets Lego Marge in the 25th anniversary episode of The Simpsons, set to air on 4 May
tv
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey gets the North Korean leader's look
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal