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news round-up 29.9.17

(Posted on 30/09/17)


Secret Murder Trial Conviction Upheld: 

Wang Yam has lost his appeal against conviction for the savage 2006 murder of elderly Hampstead resident Alan Chappelow.

In his last judgment before retiring, lord chief justice Lord Thomas, sitting with Mr Justice Sweeney and Mrs Justice May, said there was no basis to believe “new evidence would or might reasonably have affected the jury’s decision in the case”.

The original trial was held in secret to protect national security – a legal first – as Yam, a Chinese refugee and former nuclear weapons research assistant, had turned MI6 informant. MI6 apparently argued that the evidence should never be disclosed.

New witnesses came forward in 2014 after reading about the case in the Guardian, but the appeal judges maintained that Yam had attempted to access Chappelow’s bank accounts after the murder:

“Many actions of the person using, or attempting to use, the deceased’s identity can only be explained or understood if done by someone who knew of the death and with an interest in delaying discovery of it.”

Yam, who contacted Inside Justice back in 2011, has told the Guardian that he will publish details of his work for MI6 and tell the full story. “I cannot get justice in the UK,” he protests. “It is a total cover-up for mistakes.” He also intends to pursue his case at the European Court of Human Rights although his communication with the ECHR was previously prevented by the prison service, an action upheld by the supreme court in 2015.