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Will strengthen sentencing system: PM

Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson.   | Photo Credit: AP

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London attacker was freed after serving less than half of a 16-year sentence.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed on Saturday to strengthen Britain’s sentencing system after a convicted terrorist released early from prison stabbed two people to death and wounded three in a London Bridge attack.

Members of the public were hailed as heroes for preventing greater loss of life by tackling Usman Khan before police shot him dead.

IS claims responsibility

Khan had been conditionally released from jail last December after serving less than half of a 16-year prison sentence for terrorism.

On Saturday, the Islamic State group released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack.

“The person who carried out the London attack... was a fighter from the Islamic State, and did so in response to calls to target citizens of coalition countries,” IS said, referring to a multi-country alliance against the group.

The latest attack came less than two weeks before Britain’s general election, and thrust the issue of terrorism into the heart of the campaign.

Mr. Johnson pledged to introduce minimum 14-year sentences for serious terrorist offences, while some convicted might never be released, and to scrap early release if he wins a majority.

“It’s absolutely clear that we can’t carry on with the failed approaches of the past,” said Mr. Johnson, who became leader of the Conservative Party — which has been in power since 2010 — in July.

But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn appeared to raise doubts about the Tories’ handling of the parole and wider justice system in light of the attack. “We need to investigate the way all aspects of the criminal justice system operate,” he said, branding the London Bridge incident “a complete disaster”.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 8:50:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/will-strengthen-sentencing-system-pm/article30131683.ece

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