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Short Cuts

Sadakat Kadri: Bench Rage, 22 September 2011

... The anger may have subsided on the streets as hoodies, gangstas and other members of Kenneth Clarke’s ‘feral underclass’ retreated into the shadows after last month’s riots, but it soon burst out in courtrooms across England. The most egregious instance was the judge at Chester who gave two men without criminal records four-year prison terms for trying (and failing) to incite riots via Facebook, but it was among magistrates that the rage was most sustained ...

Short Cuts

Sadakat Kadri: Declared un-British, 18 June 2015

... The removal​ of citizenship has been used as a penalty for disloyalty only rarely in Britain. A handful of spies with dual nationality were denaturalised during the Cold War, but the last case in the 20th century was in 1973. Change came slowly even after 9/11: only five people were stripped of British citizenship by Labour home secretaries, and the emblematic bogeyman of the era, the hook-handed Abu Hamza, repeatedly dodged moves to annul the Britishness he had gained through marriage ...

At the CHOGM

Sadakat Kadri, 21 November 2013

... Sri Lanka’s authorities are in buoyant mood. As Prince Charles prepares to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo, the Defence Ministry is helping to organise celebrations. But it isn’t the queen they are honouring. The CHOGM is gathering to acknowledge the Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, as chairman of the Commonwealth, a position he will occupy for the next two years ...

Rules of War

Sadakat Kadri, 17 November 2011

... The misfortunes suffered by Muammar Gaddafi in Sirte on 20 October unfolded in a succession of confused online updates. A report of his capture in a firefight rapidly mutated into claims that crossfire somehow killed him as he was sped to hospital, or that his own bodyguards had shot him in the back. The fog of war was then pierced – or, more accurately, lit up – by a series of mobile phone videos ...

Better and Worse Worsts

Sadakat Kadri: American Trials, 24 May 2007

The Trial in American Life 
by Robert Ferguson.
Chicago, 400 pp., £18.50, March 2007, 978 0 226 24325 2
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... On 16 October 1859, a white anti-slavery agitator called John Brown led 21 followers in a raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. A previous expedition against a Kansas slave-owning settlement had ended in five deaths, but Brown had far grander hopes for his new enterprise – to start an insurrection across the South. The plan was as optimistic as its execution was incompetent ...

The Five Techniques

Sadakat Kadri: Who killed Baha Mousa?, 9 May 2013

A Very British Killing: The Death of Baha Mousa 
by A.T. Williams.
Cape, 298 pp., £16.99, October 2012, 978 0 224 09688 1
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... In a case recently heard in the High Court the lead applicant, an Iraqi arrested by British forces based in Basra on 16 November 2006, offered a statement that was summarised as follows: [The soldiers who arrested him] beat him severely, slammed him against a wall and forced him into a stress position in which they stood on his knees and back. His 11-month-old son’s arm was stamped on and broken, and his father had to urinate on himself ...

Newspaperising the World

Sadakat Kadri: The Leveson Inquiry, 5 July 2012

Dial M for Murdoch 
by Tom Watson and Martin Hickman.
Allen Lane, 360 pp., £20, April 2012, 978 1 84614 603 9
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... The scandals that have engulfed News International over the past year have given us many memorable moments, but Rupert and James Murdoch’s appearance before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons last July is first among them. While James cut a predictably bitter figure, his octogenarian father could hardly have seemed less like his ruthless public persona ...

From Victim to Suspect

Stephen Sedley: The Era of the Trial, 21 July 2005

The Trial: A History from Socrates to O.J. Simpson 
by Sadakat Kadri.
HarperCollins, 474 pp., £25, April 2005, 0 00 711121 5
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... is little doubt about the guilt of the accused at Nuremberg. But in the Western societies which Sadakat Kadri surveys, the time is past when the forensic conclusion was foregone and the trial – of Socrates for inculcating unofficial ideas in the young; of the white men arraigned before an all-white Mississippi jury for the abduction and murder of ...

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