An investigative journalist who has uncovered the workings of Britain’s terrorist underworld could face years in jail unless he hands over notes to police.
Freelance Shiv Malik, who has spent years investigating UK-based terror groups, has been ordered to hand over his notes of an interview with a former Islamic extremist, even though the source is known to police and willing to talk to them.
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Greater Manchester Police applied under the Terrorism Act 2000 for Malik’s notes of an interview with a Manchester-based former member of a British Jihadist group.The GMP arrived at Malik’s home in London at 7.50am on 17 March to demand notes for a book he is writing on terrorism.
Manchester Crown Court ruled in the police’s favour after judges heard evidence from police in a 15-minute hearing, held in camera because of the sensitive nature of the evidence.
Malik was on Thursday seeking leave to appeal the order in London’s High Court, backed by the NUJ. If he is successful the case will go to a full judicial review in the High Court.
In November last year, the head of MI5 Jonathan Evans, speaking to the Society of Editors, praised Malik’s cover story in Prospect magazine, based on interviews with the brother of 7/7 bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan.
Malik told Press Gazette this week: ‘Because I am a journalist I can speak to the brother of Mohammad Sidique Khan. MI5 were trying for months to speak to himâ€¦I have a different relationship, one of trust.
‘This action undermines that mechanism of trust that journalists have with sources, to the detriment of the public, MI5 and the terrorism minister.”