Bourgass & Anor lose segregation appeal vs Secretary of State for Justice [2011] EWHC 286

The High Court has upheld as lawful the segregation of two high-profile Islamic terrorist prisoners accused of intimidating and bullying other prisoners over matters of faith.

Ricin plot conspirator Kamel Bourgass and “liquid bomber” Tanvir Hussain claimed their human rights were violated when they were put in segregration units for long periods. But on Friday, Mr Justice Irwin rejected their claims that they had been treated unlawfully and unfairly.

They had been segregated after allegations that they were trying to influence and dictate the beliefs of other prisoners, accusations they denied.

The judge said Bourgass was accused of attempting to exert control over other prisoners, especially fellow Muslims whom he “pressurised” to attend prayers.

He was reported to have told them “when and how to pray and what to eat and read” and was suspected of being involved in organising an assault on one prisoner who needed 50 stitches to his face.

He had also attempted to persuade fellow inmates “not to speak to staff, especially female staff.”

In the Hussain case, the judge said: “Security intelligence suggested that Mr Hussain had preached Islamic ideals through his cell window in ‘determined attempts to convert non-Muslim prisoners to his own interpretation of Islamic ideals.'”

Bourgass, 34, an Algerian, is serving 17 years for conspiracy to commit public nuisance by using poisons or explosives in relation to the 2002 ricin terrorist plot

He is also serving a life sentence for murdering Detective Constable Stephen Oake, 40, with a kitchen knife during his 2003 arrest at a flat in Manchester.

Hussain, 30, was one of three men convicted of a plot to launch suicide attacks on flights from Heathrow to America and Canada using liquid bombs made of hydrogen peroxide hidden in soft drink bottles.

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