Encrochat: Judge rules that secret network messages can be used in court

An attempt to stop prosecutors using messages obtained from devices that were part of the Encrochat secret communications network in court has been rejected by the Appeal Court.

The National Crime Agency believes Encrochat was mainly used by criminals, often to trade drugs and guns.

The judgement will have major implications for cases against suspected organised criminals around the country.

Recent Case

On 5th February 2021, the Court of Appeal ruled in relation to a number of joint appeals. The court was considering admissibility arguments in relation to the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. The Judges ruled that the communications in the relevant cases were lawfully obtained through ‘equipment interference’ and intercepted while stored (not transmitted) on the handsets and were therefore admissible in evidence.

The Judge’s stated that the court’s task is to –

“…understand the system and then to decide whether, as a matter of ordinary language, the communication was being transmitted or stored at the time of extraction. If the former, it is inadmissible. If the latter, it is admissible, provided the appropriate warrant was in place. On the findings of the judge, the appropriate warrant was in place and the extraction was carried out in accordance with it”.

The defence teams, in this case, have applied for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

It is imperative that early expert advice is sought, and a strategy put in place.

Please read my article on Encrochat which provides more information and how I can assist anyone affectedhttps://defencelegal.co.uk/encrochat

Contact us today

Due to our experience, we are able to offer a nationwide service from our specialist Encrochat Solicitor Sundeep Soor. We work with expert barristers to assist anyone caught up in an EncroChat investigation or prosecution (Operation Venetic). It is important to consider your position in confidence at the earliest opportunity to ensure the right strategy is adopted.