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ENCROCHAT: Trial of Michael Earle and Edward Jarvis due to start today is adjourned - no new date

A MAJOR Encrochat drugs, conspiracy to murder and blackmail trial due to start in the morning has been adjourned.

Michael Earle, 46, and Edward Jarvis, 57, were due to appear for a six-week trial at Manchester Crown Court, but the case was adjourned, the court has confirmed.

The pair are each charged with one count of conspiring with others between March 1 2020 and June 17 2020 to supply class A drugs (cocaine) and another count each of the same offence concerning diamorphine.

They all face three counts of conspiracy to murder between May 22 and June 17 2020 in connection with three named individuals.

A sixth charge faced by each of them is that between the same dates they conspired to blackmail individuals by making unwarranted demands with menaces.

The court has yet to say why the trial was adjourned or when it will now take place.

A court spokeswoman said: "The trial has been vacated from 14/11/22, and is awaiting a new date."

More than 1,500 people have been charged mainly with drugs and money laundering offences after more than 2,800 arrests took place across the UK from summer 2020 in connection with EncroChat phones.

It was after French and Dutch police hacked into the supposedly encrypted EncroChat mobile phone system used by 60,000 people worldwide and about 9,000 in the UK.

European investigators allowed the British National Crime Agency (NCA) and UK police forces access to historic messages sent on the phones but also new ones being sent in real time.

Many EncroChat defendants have already pleaded guilty or have been convicted, but several are making legal challenges about how the hack was carried out and about the admissibility of the real time evidence.

It is possible the Earle and Jarvis trial was moved to await the outcome of complaints made by ten EncroChat defendants to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT).

The IPT is considering claims that the National Crime Agency (NCA) did not have the correct warrants in place to obtain EncroChat data from French police and therefore it was unlawfully obtained and should not be allowed as evidence in British courts.


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