Who is to blame for freeing Usman Khan? Labour law automatically let London ...

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MPs are today embroiled in an intensifying political row over which party is to blame for the early release of the London Bridge terror attacker.  

Usman Khan, 28, murdered two young students when he went on a knife rampage in London Bridge on Friday, before he was shot dead by police. 

The convicted terrorist had been free to walk the streets wearing an electronic monitoring tag after being released halfway through his 16-year sentence.

Boris Johnson accused Labour of weakening the law on early release during an interview yesterday, with the Tories saying Jeremy Corbyn - who has boasted of voting against all counter-terror legislation since 1983 - is 'soft on terrorists'.

But questions are now being asked as to why there were no provisions implemented by the Tories after removing the indeterminate sentences for public protection which would have ensured the Parole Board intervened before Khan's automatic release. 

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland spoke to today's Good Morning Britain and insisted Mr Corbyn had a record of 'making excuses' for extremists.  

David Blunkett

Ken Clarke

he policy which allowed his release was introduced by Labour's David Blunkett (left) and targeted at criminals who did not warrant a life sentence but posed a serious risk to the public. But these types of sentences were abolished in 2012 under David Cameron's Conservative government in a policy introduced by then Justice Secretary Ken Clarke (right)

Lord Leveson

David Gauke

In April 2013, Khan appealed against his indeterminate sentence and it was quashed by Lord Justice Leveson (left) at the Court of Appeal. Former Tory minister David Gauke (right), meanwhile, was justice secretary at the time of Khan's release in December 2018 after he served half of a 16-year sentence

Why was Usman Khan freed from jail? How terrorist was released after serving eight years for plotting to blow up the Stock Exchange 

2005: The provisions of the 2003 Criminal Justice Act were introduced.  

It ruled that any prisoners serving a determinate sentence would serve half of their sentence in custody, be released at the halfway point and remain on licence for the other half of the sentence.

For those serving an indeterminate prison sentence, the court would set a minimum term of imprisonment before the offender can become eligible to be considered for parole.

2010: Usman Khan is arrested for his role in plot to kill Boris Johnson and bomb the London Stock Exchange

2012: He is handed an indeterminate sentence, with a minimum of eight years before he can be considered for parole. 

2012: Ken Clarke, as justice secretary under David Cameron, abolishes IPP sentences, but those who were jailed under them can only be freed by a parole board 

2013: Judges, including Justice Leveson, quashed Mr Khan's indeterminate ruling, instead giving him a determinate sentence with a 16-year term and advising the Parole Board to assess if he can be released. 

2018: Khan is released automatically from prison after serving half of his sentence. The Parole Board is not asked to assess the risk he poses to the public.

November 29, 2019: Still wearing a tag, Khan goes on a knife rampage killing two people before being shot dead by police.  

 

Khan had been a guest at a prisoner rehabilitation conference in Fishmongers' Hall in London when he carried out his sickening rampage. 

He had been arrested in 2010 for terrorism offences for his part in an al Qaeda-inspired terror group that plotted to bomb the London Stock Exchange and kill Boris Johnson.  

In 2012, Khan, along with two co-conspirators, received an indeterminate sentence for public protection with a minimum of eight years behind bars - meaning he could be kept indefinitely if he continued to pose a risk to the public.

In April 2013, Khan appealed against his indeterminate sentence and it was quashed by Lord Justice Leveson at the Court of Appeal. 

He was given a determinate 16-year jail term, meaning he would be automatically released after eight years, half of his sentence.  

Leveson said at the time when reversing the original indeterminate sentence that the Parole Board was best placed to decide when he would be safe to be released from jail.

But the Parole Board released a statement on Saturday saying they played no part at all in Khan's release because he was freed automatically, suggesting a failure at some point in the Justice System, and ultimately from the Government, to review Khan's case.

Khan was automatically set free thanks to the Criminal Justice Act - introduced by Labour in 2005 - which releases prisoners halfway through their term, with the rest of their sentence under licence.

Former Tory minister David Gauke was Justice Secretary while Sajid Javid was become Home Secretary, at the time of Khan's release in December 2018. 

Sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPPs) were introduced in 2005 and given to violent or sexual offenders.

The policy was introduced by Labour's David Blunkett and was targeted at criminals who did not warrant a life sentence but posed a serious risk to the public.

But these types of sentences were abolished in 2012 under David Cameron's Conservative government in a policy introduced by then Justice Secretary Ken Clarke - although existing prisoners serving indeterminate sentences would continue to do so.

Khan's co-conspirators Nazam Hussain and Mohammed Shahjahan also appealed and the Court of Appeals dropped their indeterminate sentences in 2013.

London Bridge terrorist Khan pictured handing out extreme Islamic leaflets

London Bridge terrorist Khan pictured handing out extreme Islamic leaflets

But just 24 hours after Khan's attack on Friday, Nazam Hussain was dramatically held for allegedly plotting a fresh atrocity.

The 34-year-old was detained just hours after Boris Johnson announced a top-level review into the licence conditions of 74 convicted terrorists who are now out of jail.

Hussain was originally jailed in 2012 as part of the terror cell which was plotting to attack the London Stock Exchange and other high-profile targets in the City of London.

His arrest means new offences were allegedly discovered within hours of the review being demanded – raising serious questions about how convicted terrorists are supervised after being freed from jail. 

Labour under Tony Blair dictated that any prisoners serving a determinate sentence would serve half of their sentence in custody before being released on licence, meaning Khan was able to walk free in December last year. 

Three of the other would-be terrorists jailed alongside Khan are now free, while two remain in prison. 

From left: Usman Khan, Nazam Hussain, Abul Bosher Mohammed Shahjahan and Mohibur Rahman at Westminster Magistrates' Court in 2010.  Khan was shot dead by police on Friday, Shahjahan is now free, Rahman is still behind bars, and hours after Khan's attack on Friday, Hussain was held for allegedly plotting a fresh atrocity

From left: Usman Khan, Nazam Hussain, Abul Bosher Mohammed Shahjahan and Mohibur Rahman at Westminster Magistrates' Court in 2010.  Khan was shot dead by police on Friday, Shahjahan is now free, Rahman is still behind bars, and hours after Khan's attack on Friday, Hussain was held for allegedly plotting a fresh atrocity

Saskia Jones, 23, (pictured) of Stratford-upon-Avon, died alongside Jack Merritt, 25, of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, after Usman Khan went on a stabbing frenzy in London on Friday

Pictured: Saskia Jones, 23, on the day she graduated from Cambridge University

Khan's second victim was named as former Cambridge University student Saskia Jones (left and right), 23, who had recently applied to join the

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