Qur’an burning inquiry continues after case withdrawn

Police say they are continuing to investigate an incident in which the alleged burning of a Koran was filmed.

Officers are to pursue “further lines of inquiry” following advice from the Crown Prosecution Service before reaching a decision about charges. South Wales Police said this would “take some time to complete”.

Sion Owens, a BNP candidate for the Welsh assembly election who was accused of being filmed burning the Koran, had a case against him withdrawn on Monday.

Police said in a statement on Friday they were “continuing to investigate the incident” and were “consulting with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) while this work is ongoing”.

“Advice received from the CPS today has identified further lines of inquiry which will be pursued before a decision regarding any charges is reached and these will now take some time to complete,” the statement continued. “We remain grateful for the support of our communities, while the work of investigating these allegations continues.”

Mr Owens, 41, from Bonymaen, Swansea, was charged with a public order offence on Saturday. When he appeared at Swansea Magistrates’ Court, the CPS said it was withdrawing the case against him. It said at the time investigations would continue and that “almost certainly other proceedings will ensue”.

Joanne Shannon, another BNP candidate also arrested in connection with the incident, had already been released on police bail.

BBC News, 15 April 2011