UK: Book by former anti-terror chief Andy Hayman banned from shops

Discussion in 'Everything Political' started by ivar, Jul 5, 2009.

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    Times Online

    July 2, 2009

    Book by former anti-terror chief Andy Hayman banned from shops

    Copies of a book by Scotland Yard's former anti-terrorism chief were
    today removed from the shelves after the Attorney General obtained a
    last-minute injunction preventing it from going on sale.

    The ban on sales of The Terrorist Hunters by Andy Hayman was issued by a
    High Court judge just before midnight after a hearing conducted by
    telephone conference call.

    It was imposed just as the book was due to go on sale, although internet
    bookshops were still promoting the book as a special offer today.

    The hearing which led to the interim injunction was sought by Baroness
    Scotland QC only yesterday despite the fact that the book, extracts from
    which appeared in The Times last week, was given to several agencies for
    vetting two months ago.

    Intelligence agencies, the Crown Prosecution Smith and the Cabinet
    Office are believed to have seen copies of the manuscript ahead of
    publication but it was not shown to the Metropolitan Police.

    The legal reasons for seeking the injunction cannot currently be
    disclosed. The ban on sales has been imposed temporarily and a full High
    Court hearing is expected next week.

    The book concentrates on Mr Hayman's years as Assistant Commissioner for
    Specialist Operations at Scotland Yard, which included dealing with the
    July 2005 bomb attacks and his call for a public inquiry into the events
    leading up to Britain's first suicide bombings.

    Mr Hayman is also highly critical of the way in which the Government's
    emergency committee, Cobra, functioned claiming it spent too much time
    discussing politics and not enough time on urgent operational matters.

    The book also looked at the murder of Russian dissident Alexander
    Litvinenko and gave a behind the scenes glimpse of top-level political
    and intelligence work.

    Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, complained
    last week that he was not given a preview of the book's contents.

    He told a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) that he was
    reluctant to give the book more publicity.

    But Sir Paul said members of the force’s watchdog may like to consider
    whether senior officers should be allowed to publish such books. He
    said: “I find it surprising as commissioner that I have no right on this
    occasion to have access to the book before it is published. That
    surprises me. It is troublesome and it does not help good conduct.”

    Mr Hayman, who writes for The Times on policing matters, said he was
    unable to comment on the injunction for legal reasons. Random House, the
    publishers of the book, also declined to comment.
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