The family of Babar Ahmad stated:
“We welcome Karl Watkin’s decision to commence a private prosecution of Babar in relation to the offences he is alleged to have committed in the UK.”
“Our position has always been that Babar should be tried in a British court so that he can address the very serious offences for which he stands accused. Mr Watkin’s principled position on what is a clearly difficult issue is one that is rarely seen today.”
“There is enormous public interest in Babar being put on trial in the UK, as reflected in the fact that almost 150,000 members of the British public signed an e-petition to this effect last year.”
“We now repeat our calls to the Director of Public Prosecutions to take responsibility for this case and charge Babar with the alleged crimes for which he has already spent over 8 years in prison without trial.”
For further information, visit www.freebabarahmad.com. You can also visit the official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FreeBabarAhmad.
Babar Ahmad is also willing to engage in correspondence with the media who should write to him by recorded delivery at the following address: Babar Ahmad A9385AG, Detainee Unit, HMP Long Lartin, South Littleton, Evesham WR11 8TZ.
Notes to Editors:
1. On 6 September 2012, it was reported in the media that a British businessman Karl Watkin had instructed solicitors to commence a private prosecution of Babar Ahmad.
2. Babar Ahmad has been detained without trial since 5 August 2004 following an extradition request from the US. A complete timeline of Babar Ahmad’s case from the moment he was arrested on 2 December 2003 can be viewed at http://www.freebabarahmad.com/the-story/timeline.
3. In 2005, District Judge Timothy Workman, then the most senior extradition judge in the UK, said about Babar Ahmad's case. "This is a difficult and troubling case. The defendant is a British Citizen who is alleged to have committed offences which if the evidence were available, could have been prosecuted in this country."
4. On 22 November 2011, the Crown Prosecution Service admitted that it had never reviewed all the evidence seized from Babar Ahmad’s home before it was sent to the US authorities. The CPS has nevertheless repeatedly refused to prosecute Babar Ahmad in the UK claiming that there is “insufficient evidence”. On 24 November 2011, Caroline Lucas MP called for a full public inquiry into the handling of the evidence.
5. A full parliamentary debate on urgently reforming British extradition laws took place on 5 December 2011 with the motion being passed without a vote. The debate came as a result of an e-petition to put Babar Ahmad on trial in the UK securing over 149,000 signatures within 3 months. The e-petition can be viewed at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/885 .
6. On 22 June 2011, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights explicitly raised concerns over Babar Ahmad's case in its report in 'The Human Rights Implications of U.K extradition policy' and recommended that the government urgently re-negotiate the UK- US extradition of individuals in Babar Ahmad's position.
7. During his arrest in London in 2003, Babar Ahmad sustained over 73 injuries. In March 2009, the Metropolitan Police admitted carrying out this abuse and paid him £60,000 compensation. Four police officers later stood trial over this attack but were found not guilty.