Pubdate: Sat, 05 Mar 2005
Source: Hull Daily Mail (UK)
Copyright: 2005 Northcliffe Newspapers Group Ltd
Author: Carl Wagner
Bookmark: (Asset Forfeiture)


The Proceeds of Crime Act has been trumpeted as a tool for recovering
the assets of serious drug traffickers.

In reality, it looks set to become a gold mine for law enforcers and a
nightmare for thousands of ordinary people.

A 20 per cent cash incentive means police are increasingly using civil
forfeiture laws because property can be seized even if its owner is
never convicted of a crime.

Even acquittal of the criminal charges the forfeiture is based upon
does not prevent retrying the same facts.

Innocent until proven guilty is reversed and the defendant is forced
to hire legal help to prove his innocence.

This takes us back to medieval times when millions of people across
Western Europe were tortured or put to death without trial for such
"sins" as reading a sorcerer's book, having a witch's habit (taking a
bath or falling into a river), and even for having cannabis-related

Moreover, if the Government and police have a financial incentive to
investigate individuals and seize property without even having to
prove their allegations in court, then the system is corrupt by
definition and every arrest is suspect.

Carl Wagner

Legalise Cannabis Alliance

Hull North
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin