Today David Miranda, partner of Glenn Greenwald, was back at the Royal Courts of Justice to continue his suit against the home secretary and the Metropolitan police commissioner for his eight-hour, 55-minute detention at London’s Heathrow Airport on August 18. Miranda, a Brazilian national, was en route from Berlin to Rio de Janeiro after visiting filmmaker and Snowden leak affiliate Laura Poitras when he was detained, and his laptop, phone and electronic equipment were seized.
UK officials exercised detention authority under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, a powerful bit of legislation that permits port officers to detain and question travelers for up to nine hours to determine whether they might be terrorists. About 60,000 passengers a year are questioned during schedule 7 port stops. Schedule 7 also allows the examining officer to search the detained person and any possessions. The detained have no right to counsel and no right to remain silent under the Act.
On the second day of the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, lawyers for the Metropolitan police and Home Office defended their decision to detain Miranda, who is the partner of the former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald.
Lawyers for the Met said they had “legitimate” concerns about how the encrypted material Miranda was carrying had been “arranged” as they feared all of the Edward Snowden material could be released, endangering lives.
The Brazilian national claims it was unlawful to stop him under schedule 7 on 18 August this year, denies that he was involved in terrorism and argues that his right to freedom of expression was curtailed.