– Met chief says officers’ use of fake identities in court was not illegal (Telegraph, Oct. 27, 2011):
Britain’s most senior police officer has defended the practice of undercover officers using fake identities in court, claiming there is no specific law forbidding it.
Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan police commissioner, made the comments as he announced that Scotland Yard has begun two new inquiries.
It brings the number of inquiries into infiltration of political groups to 11, prompting a call from Lord Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, for one overarching public inquiry. Macdonald said Hogan-Howe’s defence was “stunning and worrying”.
Hogan-Howe appeared before the Metropolitan Police Authority on Thursday facing increasing pressure over allegations that two police spies used their false identities as political activists when they were prosecuted in court.
He told the authority: “There’s no law that says it can’t happen. The fact that someone has concealed their identity doesn’t mean the crime didn’t happen. In absolute terms, the criminal law does not make a crime of it. If you are dealing with more serious crimes, we have to seek all options.”