Friday, July 22, 2005

Terror Bill comes before House next week

Legislation that was pending since 2002

The House of Assembly will next week debate new laws to combat terrorism.

The Terrorism Ordinance 2005 aims to implement a European Union Council Framework Decision dating back to June 13th, 2002, and which should have been complied with by the end of that year.

The debate in the House will come at a time when European countries are looking to tighten security laws even further in the wake of the London bombings on July 7th.

The Terrorism Ordinance covers a wide range offences relating to terrorist activity, both within Gibraltar and beyond its borders. It sets out hefty prison sentences for many of these crimes, including life sentences for the offence of directing a terrorist organisation.

Alongside legal measures to respond to direct acts of violence, it also tackles financial issues relating to the financing of terrorist activity.

Among other offences, the ordinance makes it a crime to provide training in weapons or explosives and to collect information of use to someone planning an act of terrorism.

It also tackles the issue of hoaxes involving noxious substances.

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