The Guildford Four who were kidnapped by the British state & tortured into making false confessions are sentenced by a corrupt judge & a rotten system. They would spend 15 years in prison until they were freed in 1989. RIP Gerry Conlon & Giuseppe Conlon
Stories from The Justice Gap
Guildford Four: how the innocent were framed and the truth buried
On October 5, 1974 two public houses in Guildford, Surrey were bombed by the IRA without warning causing five deaths and over 60 injuries of varying severity. The bombs were placed in the pubs with timing devices to detonate when the bomb placers were clear of Guildford.
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The Guildford Four and the Maguire Seven were the collective names of two groups whose convictions in English courts in 1975 and 1976 for the Guildford pub bombings of 5 October 1974 were eventually quashed after long campaigns for justice.
The Guildford Four were wrongly convicted of bombings carried out by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), and the Maguire Seven were wrongly convicted of handling explosives found during the investigation into the bombings. Both groups’ convictions were eventually declared “unsafe and unsatisfactory” and reversed in 1989 and 1991 respectively after they had served up to 15–16 years in prison.
Along with the Maguires and the Guildford Four, several other people faced charges relating to the bombings, six of them charged with murder, but these charges were dropped.
No one else was charged with the bombings, or supplying the material; three police officers were charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and found not guilty.
After their arrest, all four defendants confessed to the bombing under intense coercion by the police.
These statements were later retracted but remained the basis of the case against them. They would later be alleged to be the result of coercion by the police, ranging from intimidation to torture—including threats against family members—as well as the effects of drug withdrawal.
Conlon wrote in his autobiography that a key factor in his purportedly coerced confession was the fact that strengthened anti-terrorism laws passed in the early 1970s allowed the police to hold suspects without charges for up to a week, rather than the previous limit of 48 hours and that he might have been able to withstand the treatment he had received had the original time limit been in effect.
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