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Author Topic: 500 Sham Marriages: bishop blesses priest after trial collapses


JohnHunt
Boron
Posts: 7
500 Sham Marriages: bishop blesses priest after trial collapses
on: October 28, 2014, 15:35

On 8th September 2014, Rev. Nathan Ntege appeared with six codefendants at the Inner London Crown Court (http://www.thelawpages.com/magistrates-county-crown-court/Inner-London-Crown-Court-29.html), accused of having performed around 490 bogus marriages. Eighteen charges were read out: 15 breaches of immigration law; two charges of deception (claiming not to have undergone a sham marriage); and one of fraud -- withholding some £69K from Southwark Diocese (the proceeds of crime?).

Ntege operated at St. Jude and St. Aidan (http://www.southwark.anglican.org/parishes/283ck) in Thornton Heath (near Croydon, Greater London). By coincidence this is the church where, as a babe in arms, I was nonconsensually subjected to ritual child abuse: baptism. That was rectified in 2008 (BBC - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7941817.stm; NSS - http://www.secularism.org.uk/church-of-england-changes-its-mi.html).

The first day of the trial was mostly taken up with administration, before members of the jury were sworn. Only one affirmed. 🙁

It seemed to be a feature of this case that the jury were frequently sent out for administrative discussion between judge (Nic Madge - http://www.nicmadge.co.uk/) and barristers. I attended typically half a day a week, not wanting to overdose.

On 22nd October the judge halted the trial in its seventh week with a "terminatory ruling" because of "abuse of process": corruption by police and immigration officers (possibly leading to charges of "perjury and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice") and prosecution incompetence (described as "shambolic + breath-taking + appalling").

The judge said he would write to the Deputy Crown Prosecutor (http://www.cps.gov.uk/london/about_us/our_structure/) raising a number of questions about this "high profile case" where "ministerial approval was sought and obtained" (Theresa May? - http://www.tmay.co.uk/) to raid the church and arrest the vicar.

I heard afterwards the case may have cost £7m of public money. A headline in The Times (http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/crime/article4246126.ece) cites £2m for the trial. If the figure of £7m is correct, perhaps that includes all the previous investigation and interrogations.

So the vicar and his accomplices have been let off scot free. Not only that, but Ntege was then blessed by his bishop, Jonathan Clark (http://www.southwark.anglican.org/who/bishops-and-officers in church this Sunday). - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2808809/Welcome-Vicar-Reverend-returns-pulpit-1million-sham-wedding-trial-collapses-s-got-bishop-s-blessing.html

Has Southwark Diocese been sweetened by recovering some of the £69K, perhaps? Or are they always so ready to turn the other cheek?



MattR
Calcium
Posts: 156
Re: 500 Sham Marriages: bishop blesses priest after trial collapses
on: October 29, 2014, 12:52

I gather you aren't happy about the outcome of the case, but what is your specific point? Do you blame the police, the immigration authorities, the prosecution, the judge? The English justice system itself?

Personally I'm delighted we have a system where innocence prevails until guilt is proven. Heck, I even conceded that when the prosecutors failed to prove Rebeka Brooks's obvious guilt. We rightly require a very high standard of evidence in the UK before we convict. I expect the legal decision was the correct one in Ntege's case. Certainly The Daily Mail article was far from convincing (they lie you know).

What bothers me more is that there is evidently a vibrant christian community of Ugandans in Southwark. I'm sure the bishop was highly conscious of this fact when he displayed his support for Ntege. Personally, I'm a passionate believer in immigration, but I wouldn't allow christians or muslims into the country - too much sexism, racism and child abuse for my liking, not to mention their general desire to eradicate the enlightenment from history.



JohnHunt
Boron
Posts: 7
Re: 500 Sham Marriages: bishop blesses priest after trial collapses
on: October 30, 2014, 09:57

He is NOT innocent! But because the trial was halted, (described by the judge as a "terminatory ruling" because of "abuse of process"), there is no verdict, and he cannot be tried again.



JohnHunt
Boron
Posts: 7
Re: 500 Sham Marriages: bishop blesses priest after trial collapses
on: October 30, 2014, 09:58

Last week the Ntege trial (494 sham marriages) collapsed because of corruption by police/immigration officers and because of prosecution incompetence.

Now ANOTHER trial collapses (580 sham marriages): this time because of Home Office bungling!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/11195771/Imams-sham-marriage-trial-collapses-after-Home-Office-blunder.html­



JohnHunt
Boron
Posts: 7
Re: 500 Sham Marriages: bishop blesses priest after trial collapses
on: October 30, 2014, 10:05

Further to above comments about the Daily Mail, the trial was reported elsewhere, though less comprehensively. Additionally, I sat through 10% of the seven-week trial, and have my own notes.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/cps-to-launch-review-after-shambolic-fake-marriage-case-collapses-9814692.html

http://www.channel4.com/news/trial-collapses-after-immigration-officials-lie-under-oath

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-29745433 -- Sham weddings trial collapses after officers 'lied on oath'

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/crime/article4246126.ece -- ‘Lying officers’ bring down £2m bogus wedding trial

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/vicar-will-be-in-pulpit-on-sunday-after-sham-weddings-trial-collapses-9815809.html



Guest
Calcium
Posts: 1161
Re: 500 Sham Marriages: bishop blesses priest after trial collapses
on: October 30, 2014, 10:35

Innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution fucked up and it couldn't be proven that he was guilty, therefore he's innocent, no matter what you may feel/think about it.

As for his bishop, why wouldn't he bless him, not only is he innocent, he's bringing in more customers!



MattR
Calcium
Posts: 156
Re: 500 Sham Marriages: bishop blesses priest after trial collapses
on: October 30, 2014, 12:41

As Graham says, innocent until proven guilty. And thank god we live in a society like that.

Your links didn't work, but I found and read the BBC and Independent stories, as well as the Mail's version of events. None of the articles give me good reason to believe Ntege was guilty. In fact, all I can glean from them is that immigration officials decided to make up a story about this bloke, but were so stupid they fucked it up. Maybe they're just racists?

The BBC story says:

'[The judge] said: "I am satisfied that this is a case in which there has been both bad faith and serious misconduct on the part of the prosecution.' [and] '"I am satisfied that officers at the heart of this prosecution have deliberately concealed important evidence and lied on oath."' [and] '"It is a case in which the prosecution should not be allowed to benefit from the serious misbehaviour of the officer in the case or the disclosure officer."'

'The judge said photographs taken at the vicarage and video filmed at the church from June 2011 had not been made available to the defence.'

'The officer in the case and/or the disclosure officer had taken measures to ensure the photographs and video footage were not seen and they had also lied about it on oath, the judge said.'

'Judge Madge also concluded the existence of entries on an investigation log from July 2012 to December 2012 had been concealed and lied about on oath by the officers.'

'...when "immigration officers were questioned in the witness box, it emerged that evidence had been tampered with or concealed, possibly destroyed, video footage had gone missing, and an investigation log had been doctored".'

On this basis, clearly the decision was the correct one. The fact that the judge gave a 'terminatory ruling' rather than pronouncing "not guilty", has no bearing on Ntege's guilt or innocence. There was simply no valid prosecution case.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are people in the UK knowingly presiding over sham marriages, but I am not convinced Ntege is one of them.

BTW, here's (hopefully) the correct link to the new Telegraph story:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/11195771/Imams-sham-marriage-trial-collapses-after-Home-Office-blunder.html



barfly123
Calcium
Posts: 147
Re: 500 Sham Marriages: bishop blesses priest after trial collapses
on: October 30, 2014, 19:25

weather he did it or not he is not guilty. Our system of innocent until proven guilty as its faults but I would hate to live under another system.



JohnHunt
Boron
Posts: 7
Re: 500 Sham Marriages: bishop blesses priest after trial collapses
on: November 1, 2014, 12:10

I don't know why some of the links don't work. The one you copied is visually EXACTLY the same as the one I posted above.

"it couldn't be proven that he was guilty": that is purely YOUR ASSUMPTION. I heard only that three of the charges against ANOTHER defendant were considered to constitute "no case to answer".

"I am not convinced Ntege is one of them": I heard nothing in court --and have seen nothing reported-- to suggest that the 494 marriages were legit. On the contrary.

Sadly widespread corruption and incompetence often enable criminals to go scot free. Many are not even charged. In a non-religious context, I reported the death three years ago of a resident in a nursing home who was unilaterally euthanased by a manager. But after preliminary consideration by police and by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, both bodies decided not even to investigate.



Guest
Calcium
Posts: 1161
Re: 500 Sham Marriages: bishop blesses priest after trial collapses
on: November 1, 2014, 17:40

John, it's not an assumption that it couldn't be proven. It hasn't been proven, hence he's innocent. Until such time as he is proven guilty, he remains innocent despite what you or anyone else may or may not have heard.



MattR
Calcium
Posts: 156
Re: 500 Sham Marriages: bishop blesses priest after trial collapses
on: December 11, 2014, 10:32

I've been keeping one eye on this, half hoping that Southwark Diocese would give their full version of events. Based on 30 seconds' browsing (http://www.southwark.anglican.org/news/) there appears to be only silence.

However, I did spot this on the BBC (which would justify Southwark's silence): http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-30329896. Three of the immigration officials are being criminally investigated for their role in the dodgy case. I wonder if The Daily Mail will report this with the same gusto with which it pounced on Ntege? Of course not, but there may yet be material for them. The latest investigation will cover "over 100 boxes of material, gathering correspondence, trial bundles and transcripts", so if Ntege was up to no good, the evidence may yet come into the public domain. Which would make tax dodger Lord Rothermere and pornographer Richard Desmond very happy.

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