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

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
News
i100
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
news
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Extras
indybest
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick