Hassan Assali

Years in prison:
Year of crime:
Year conviction was overturned:

Hassan Assali was convicted under the 1883 Explosives Substances Act, for making electronic timers. Assali owned a company that manufactured electronic devices. The prosecution contended that he had been using his company to produce timers which were explosive devices. A technician at the company claimed that explosive devices were being made at Assali’s business premise and referred to firearms that were there. The police and customs officers searched Assali’s home and factory and found seventeen timers in an airing cupboard in his home and seven half assembled in the factory. A prosecution expert examined the devices and supported the prosecution case that they were designed to be used with explosives. Assali claimed the timers were not designed to be used in conjunction with explosives. On appeal, expert evidence was introduced to suggest that the devices may just have been timers. On this basis, the appeal was allowed and the conviction was set aside.

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  • Offence: Other
  • Jurisdiction: England & Wales
  • County: Herefordshire 
  • Ethnicity: Other
  • Gender: M
  • Years in prison: 7
  • Offence convicted of: Attempt to cause explosion; making/keeping explosive
  • Year of crime: 1983
  • Year of initial conviction: 1985
  • Year conviction was overturned: 2005
  • Age when imprisoned: 28
  • CCRC Referral: Y
  • Tried with others: N
  • Link to full case: https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2005/2031.html
  • Type of fresh evidence at appeal: Evidence undermining forensic science
  • Compensation: Unknown
  • Crown argued case at CofA: No
  • Retrial: No
  • Previous appeals: Counsel applied to abandon application for leave to appeal in 1986, applicant applied for this to be treated as a nullity since it was done without authority, but this application was refused in 1989.