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AM wants answers over 'terror' arrest.

Byline: Martin Shipton

AHARD-HITTING letter has been written to Wales' top police officer demanding answers about the incident where musician Victor Frederick was wrongly suspected of running a bomb factory.

In her letter to South Wales Chief Constable Barbara Wilding, Plaid Cymru AM Leanne Wood says: "My constituent was arrested under suspicion of 'possessing materials likely to be used for making explosives'. He was held in custody for just under 24 hours and told on release that 'no further action' would be taken.

"However, the manner in which the operation was carried out has had a hugely traumatising effect on him and his family. While they accept that in the current climate suspicions of terrorist activity have to be investigated, they believe the police operation was hugely disproportionate to whatever suspicions the police could possibly have had. In addition, they strongly believe that police suspicions were based on malicious false information given by someone already known to the police.

"There seemed to be no consideration for the fact that a child was present in the house.

"Mr Frederick tells me that the police officers armed with machine guns appeared extremely nervous. They did not seem to have any background knowledge of why they were there. Other officers both in uniform and in plain clothes said they did not know what was going on. Inasituation such as this with so many guns on the scene, the confusion and lack of information surely increases the danger. The family feel lucky and relieved that all three members of our family are still alive."

Ms Wood goes on to pose the following questions:

who authorised this operation against my constituents and what was the cost of the operation?

why was this constituent of mine Victor Frederick singled out for this treatment and not other fellow users of the recording studio?

on what basis was this family targeted and why was it felt necessary to use armed police officers?

what evidence was given to the police to lead the force to take action against this family?

the family has received no written communication from the police and no apology for the operation against them. Why not?

could you confirm whether other police officers apart from those from South Wales Police were involved in this operation and, if so, why?

could you explain what action South Wales Police is taking to ensure this type of operation is not repeated against other innocent people?

what checking procedures are in place to prevent a small suspicion being blown up into a full scale alert as in Mr Frederick's and Ms Heath's case?


Brothers Abul Koyair, left, 20, and Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, at a press conference in east London
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 26, 2009
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