MP calls Syvret arrest an "abuse of state power"

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A British politician has described the arrest of Senator Stuart Syvret for alleged data protection breaches as an "obvious abuse of state power."

John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Birmingham Yardley, was speaking ahead of a States meeting in Jersey to discuss the possible implications of Senator Syvret's arrest.

Mr Hemming said he was concerned about the impact of the arrest on politicians' ability to do their jobs.

"It's very, very important that politicians are in a position to fight incompetence and corruption and when they're persecuted by the state apparatus by an abuse of power, that is very, very wrong and it's a breach of the rule of law," he said.

He said he believed there were parallels between Senator Syvret's arrest and that of the Conservative MP, Damian Green.

"Stuart's arrest is a bit more extreme although Damian Green was threatened with life imprisonment for embarrassing the government. This is all very wrong. It's symptomatic of the tolerance of the government in the United Kingdom for corupt activities," he said.

Police dropped all charges against Mr Green last week after officers arrested him and searched his Westminster office.

States members in Jersey will meet tomorrow morning to debate Deputy Geoff Southern's proposition on Senator Syvret's arrest and its potential implications.

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ITV channel Television Logo  20/04/2009

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