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WPC murder case stalls over national security

A suspect in the murder of police officer Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London will not be prosecuted because important evidence is being withheld on national security grounds. Police said they were unable to charge the man without being able to present the “key material” in court. WPC Fletcher died after being shot in the back while she was policing a demonstration against the then-Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 1984. The shot was fired from the embassy in St James’s Square. The suspect was held in November 2015 in southeast England in what police described as a “significant turning point”
in the inquiry. The Metropolitan Police said: “We believe our investigation has identified enough material to identify those responsible for WPC Fletcher’s murder if it could be presented to a court. “However the key material has not been made available for use in court in evidential form for reasons of national security.

“Therefore, without this material and following a review of all the evidence that was available to prosecutors, the Crown Prosecution Service – who we worked closely with throughout – have informed us that there is insufficient admissible evidence to charge the man.” It added: “Our judgment is that this concludes what was by far the best opportunity to solve this tragic case and provide a degree of closure for the victims and their families. “This investigation will never be closed but the likelihood of finding further evidence, in Libya or elsewhere, is low.”

A statement from WPC Fletcher’s family said: “We understand that some available evidence could not be used in court but are satisfied that the Metropolitan Police has left no stone unturned in its pursuit of justice in Yvonne’s case. “The family would like to thank the Met for its continued hard work and diligence and also for always keeping us informed at every turn. “We are deeply disappointed and frustrated that a prosecution cannot proceed at this time.

“We had hoped that the latest turn of events would finally lead to some closure for the family.” Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “Her murder remains as shocking and senseless as the day it occurred and I understand that the decision will be deeply disappointing and frustrating for all her family, friends and colleagues.” The shooting was followed by a 10-day siege of the building before 30 of those inside were deported back to Libya.

Details of the identity of the man who has been released have not been made public.

Cyber attack: 100000 organisations hit in 150 countries as experts fear virus escalation

  1. ITV Report
  2. 14 May 2017 at 5:42am

Experts warn another attack could come as soon as Monday Credit: PA

International efforts are under way to track down the perpetrators behind a cyber attack which threw the NHS into chaos and affected businesses across the world. Europol, the EU’s police agency, revealed on Sunday that 100,000 organisations across at least 150 countries were targeted, and there are fears that many more people may be hit by the virus on Monday when they return to work. Speaking on ITV’s Peston on Sunday, Europol director Rob Wainwright warned that “all sectors” were vulnerable to attack1 and urged organisations to ensure they updated their systems.

At this time the identity of the attackers who deployed the ransomware bug remains unknown. But Europol said its cybercrime specialists had begun a “complex international investigation” to identify the culprits. And Oliver Gower from the National Crime Agency, said: “Cyber criminals may believe they are anonymous but we will use all the tools at our disposal to bring them to justice.”

Forty-five NHS division were affected by the attack Credit: PA

Europol said the current challenge was the fast-spreading capabilities of the malware, which locks up data and demands a payment for it to be released.

However, it appears that few have paid the ransom the software demands. Meanwhile a British cyber security researcher known online as MalwareTech has warned that another attack could come as soon as Monday. He was hailed an “accidental hero” after helping prevent the virus from spreading further when he and another researcher stumbled upon a “kill switch”2 in the malware code.

The 22-year-old said: “We have stopped this one, but there will be another one coming and it will not be stoppable by us.

“There’s a lot of money in this . There’s no reason for them to stop . It’s not really much effort for them to change the code and then start over. The NHS systems are believed to have been hit by a ransomware cyber attack using malware called “Wanna Decryptor”.

Version 1 of WannaCrypt was stoppable but version 2.0 will likely remove the flaw . You’re only safe if you patch ASAP.

The attack that began on Friday is believed to be the biggest online extortion attack ever recorded, disrupting computers that run factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems. Forty-five NHS division were affected by the attack . Operations and appointments were cancelled for patients across the country as 48 trusts in England and 13 health boards in Scotland were attacked by the ransomware. Medical staff reported seeing computers go down “one by one” as the attack took hold, locking machines and demanding money to release the data.

An attack on NHS computer systems was ‘always going to happen’ a security expert has said Credit: PA

There have been calls for an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Friday’s major incident, with the government and NHS chiefs facing questions over their preparedness and the robustness of vital systems. On Saturday a former head of the body managing the NHS’ cyber security system said an online attack on the health service was “always going to happen”. He said although the government has invested in protecting against a cyber attack, it can be “difficult” to ensure trusts spend money on cyber security.

The Home Secretary said patient data does not appear to have been accessed . Credit: ITV News

Speaking after a Cobra meeting on Saturday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd admitted “there’s always more” that can be done to protect against cyber attacks. But she stressed that attack had affected organisations in scores of countries.

“If you look at who’s been impacted by this virus, it’s a huge variety across different industries and across international governments . This is a virus that attacked Windows platforms . The fact is the NHS has fallen victim to this,” she said.

“I don’t think it’s to do with that preparedness . There’s always more we can all do to make sure we’re secure against viruses, but I think there have already been good preparations in place by the NHS to make sure they were ready for this sort of attack.”

More than 70 countries are thought to have been affected by the ransomware bug Credit: Alex Milan Tracy/SIPA USA/PA Images

NHS Digital, which manages the health service cyber security, said fewer than 5 percent of devices within the health service still use the old Windows XP system.

Nissan UK confirmed it was affected3, but said there had been “no major impact”. It is understood its plant in Sunderland is not due to have another production shift until Sunday night. A spokesman said: “Like many organisations around the world, some Nissan entities were recently targeted by a ransomware attack.

“Our teams are responding accordingly and there has been no major impact on our business .

We are continuing to monitor the situation.”

Last updated Sun 14 May 2017

References

  1. ^ “all sectors” were vulnerable to attack (www.itv.com)
  2. ^ stumbled upon a “kill switch” (www.itv.com)
  3. ^ Nissan UK confirmed it was affected (www.itv.com)

Homeless shoplifter dies after bottles smashed in fall with security guard

A HOMELESS shoplifter who died outside Trowbridge’s Asda after the concealed alcohol bottles he had cut open his abdomen as he was tackled by a security guard, an inquest heard.

Kieran Church, 30, died after he was tackled to the ground by 20-year-old security guard outside Asda in Trowbridge on February 9.

He died at 5.01pm after he suffered three wounds to his abdomen from the shattered alcohol bottles.

Senior Coroner at Salisbury Coroner’s Court, David Ridley, said on Tuesday how Mr Church, who had self harmed before and had drug and alcohol issues, often stole bottles of alcohol to sell for money.

He was initially stopped by Mr Rose after leaving a Sainsbury’s store with bottles of brandy, and handed the drink back.

Mr Rose said he spotted a syringe sticking out of Mr Church’s pocket, and let him go to avoid a confrontation.

Later that afternoon, security staff in Asda saw Mr Church take two bottles alcohol from a shelf, hide them inside his jacket and leave the store.

Mr Rose, a Security Industry Authority-licensed guard, was walking to a local police station to hand in CCTV of the earlier incident when he saw Mr Church leave the supermarket.

Asda security guard Denise Thomas said in a written statement to the inquest: “This male was walking in the direction of the car park and cash machines and as he was walking away I politely and calmly said, ‘excuse me’, and he ignored me.

“A Sainsbury’s security guard I didn’t know ran at the male suspect from behind and he pounced on him.”

Coroner David Ridley said: “Her view is that it was a clear act to take the male to the ground as opposed to detaining him standing up.

“It caused the male shoplifter to fall face down with the Sainsbury’s security guard on top of him.”

CCTV of the incident was played to the court.

Mr Rose described to the inquest how he planned to use a recognised detention technique to raise Mr Church’s arms so he could not use anything in his pockets, such as a syringe.

“I wouldn’t say I lost balance,” he said.

The coroner asked: “Once contact is made, both of you lost balance and you fell on to Kieran?”

Mr Rose replied: “Yes . The first thing I did was take hold on his right wrist . Then it became apparent that it was really serious.

“The ambulance was called .

It felt like a lifetime but it was probably only five or six minutes.”

Mr Rose added: “After the earlier incident I didn’t hear of Kieran being involved in anything else, so I assumed he had left the area.

“I knew he had failed to get what he wanted from our store, so it was only a matter of time before he tried elsewhere.

“Due to the needle he posed a risk . By chance of going into The Shires I spotted him again . You can follow and detain once you have got the crime reference number from the police.”