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Judge refuses to publish list of political groups spied on by police

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theguardian.com
http://www.theguardian.com/



Judge refuses to publish list of political groups spied on by police
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/31/judge-refuses-to-publish-list-of-groups-that-have-been-spied-on


'A public inquiry examining undercover policing is refusing to publish a list of more than 1,000 political groups that have been spied on since 1968.

Sir John Mitting, the retired judge heading the inquiry, was urged to publish the list at a preliminary hearing on Thursday by victims of surveillance who are seeking to uncover the extent of the espionage.

More than 120 political groups that were spied on by undercover officers have been identified so far. That list was published in October following investigations by the Guardian and the Undercover Research Group, a network of activists that scrutinises police espionage.

It suggested that the police spies overwhelmingly monitored leftwing and progressive groups that challenged the status quo, with only three far-right groups infiltrated. The victims of the surveillance have long criticised Mitting for making decisions that will permit the police to cover up misconduct.

Mitting has also been criticised for presiding over an inquiry beset by delays. Theresa May, when she was home secretary, set up the inquiry in 2014 to examine the activities of the police spies following a series of controversies.

However, the inquiry, which has cost more than £10m, has yet to hear any evidence in public and is not due to conclude before 2023. The delays have been caused mainly by a large number of applications from the police to conceal the identities of its undercover officers.

On Tuesday, Mitting announced that the first hearings to examine evidence in public – due to be held in June – would be postponed until next year at the earliest.'



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