LONDON: MORE than 1,000 Taliban fighters seized by British troops have walked free from Afghanistan’s courts in the past year according to The Sun. The corrupt and shambolic legal system in Helmand province has convicted fewer than ONE IN 20 murderous insurgents.That leaves the rest at liberty to kill and maim our brave troops again. Our revelation is another grim blow for the heroic British soldiers risking their lives every day to bring peace and stability to the lawless area.
A military source said last night: “The Helmand justice system is next to useless – and it’s down to a mixture of corruption, inepitutde and a lack of capacity to process and convict so many cases.”It is also bad for our morale, as there is little more dispiriting than seeing all our hard work in finding and catching some really evil people go to waste when they are freed just as fast.”
Helmand’s judges convict a pitiful 3.5 per cent of insurgents handed over to them by UK forces and local cops. The conviction rate for Taliban fanatics seized solely by British forces is just seven per cent.In the past year, just 82 out of 1,175 suspected insurgents arrested by UK soldiers were convicted and sentenced.A large proportion of the Taliban have been arrested by SAS and SBS squads on special night-time missions.
Frustrated British diplomats admit they are struggling to make the most of the ongoing military surge in Helmand. And the province’s justice system has been identified as a serious weak point. There are already plans to build three more courts to try insurgents in the badland areas of Marjeh, Nad-e-Ali and Gereshk – and raise prosecutors’ pay. Experts last night blamed the justice shambles on President Hamid Karzai’s ministers. Tory MP and ex-diplomat Rory Stewart said: “No amount of foreign courage or money is going to make up for an Afghan government which isn’t taking responsibility for its people.”An MoD spokesman said: “Helping Afghans improve law and order is fundamental to help prevent the country from re-emerging as a base for terrorist activity.”-Online