A terror trial taking aim at a Swedish national named Bherlin Gildo, has suddenly collapsed at the Old Bailey British court. The suspect’s defence argued that British intelligence service MI6 was supporting the same groups that the suspect was supposedly fighting for, including the not-so-moderate ‘Free Syrian Army’ by providing them with both weapons and “non-lethal aid.”
The Guardian reports that Gildo was accused of attending a terrorist training camp and receiving weapons training between 31 August 2012 and 1 March 2013 as well as possessing information likely to be useful to a terrorist. On the 8th March 2013 The Guardian published an article stating that the West was training rebel fighters in Jordan to fight against the Assad regime in Syria, which was even cited by the defence team.
What an embarrassment it would have been to have this come out during a trial, where hard evidence would have been presented truly exposing the British operation for all to see.
Henry Blaxland QC for the defence of Gildo stated that “if it is the case that HM government was actively involved in supporting armed resistance to the Assad regime at a time when the defendant was present in Syria and himself participating in such resistance it would be unconscionable to allow the prosecution to continue”. He even went as far to say that the continuation of the trial would be an ‘affront to justice‘.
Gildo’s personal attorney Gareth Peirce said: “Given that there is a reasonable basis for believing that the British were themselves involved in the supply of arms, if that’s so, it would be an utter hypocrisy to prosecute someone who has been involved in the armed resistance”. Despite being ‘photographed standing over dead bodies with his finger pointing to the sky’, the British government did not feel comfortable pursuing a trial against Gildo and the case subsequently collapsed. Along with citations from The Guardian, the defence team also cited the New York Times and London Review of Books, all of which must then be rooted in factual reality or the British government, with its near endless legal resources, would have had no problem challenging the claims.
Despite some claims that climate change caused the conflict in Syria (seriously), this tangible, Western support for rebel fighters is far more likely the true cause. The British, however, are not alone in providing this support, as numerous reports now document both American and Israeli support and coordination with these terrorist groups.
How would the wider public react to the knowledge, backed by hard and irrefutable evidence, that their government has been responsible for the support and rise of terrorist groups like ISIS? We are likely never to know the answer to that question, as long as these trials continue to collapse.
In a world of hegemonic international relations, those on top continue to quite literally get away with murder.