A rift has opened between senior ministers over the use of phone-tap evidence in terrorist prosecutions.

John Reid, the Home Secretary, is at odds with Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, who wants to lift the ban on allowing such evidence. Lord Goldsmith has said it could be a "key tool" in the fight against terrorism and organised crime. He was won over after seeing how phone-tap material had helped secure the conviction of five senior Mafia figures in America.


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