A man who denied the police access to his phone when officers stopped him under terrorism legislation has been convicted of wilfully obstructing an examination, today, Monday, 25 September.
Westminster Magistrates' Court heard how Met Police Counter Terrorism Command officers stopped Muhammad Rabbani, 36 (03.03.81) from east London at Heathrow Airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act at around 07.30hrs on 20 November 2016.
Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is used by the police to stop and question a person in order to determine whether they are concerned in terrorism.
As part of their enquiries, detectives seized Rabbani’s mobile phone and laptop for the purpose of examining it, but Rabbani repeatedly refused to provide passwords for the devices to officers.
Subsequently, the officers arrested him on suspicion of wilfully obstructing or seeking to frustrate an examination or search under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, contrary to paragraph 18(1)(c) of that Schedule.
Rabbani claimed to have confidential material on his phone from his work as director for a non-government organisation, and argued incorrectly that this gave him the privilege of not sharing information with police.
He was subsequently charged as above on 17 May 2017.
He was today sentenced to 12 months’ conditional discharge and ordered to pay a £620 fine.
Commander Dean Haydon, head of the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Today’s verdict is an important one. It’s crucial that police are able to use the legislation that exists to help keep the public safe.
“Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 is a vital tool in the fight against terrorism and we are committed to ensuring the power is used appropriately and proportionately, as it was in this case.
“The Met has retained Rabbani’s phone and laptop and is continuing its efforts to examine the contents.”