In response to tonight's news that the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has rejected Babar Ahmad's appeal against his extradition, the family of Babar Ahmad stated:
"The decision of the Grand Chamber is largely irrelevant to us as this matter should never have come to this stage had the British police done their job almost nine years ago and provided the material seized from Babar's home to the CPS rather than secretly passing it to their US counterparts.
"The CPS is now in possession of all that material which forms the basis of the US indictment and should immediately prosecute Babar for conduct allegedly committed in the UK. There is enormous public interest in Babar being prosecuted in the UK, as reflected by the fact that almost 150,000 members of the British public signed a government e-petition to this effect last year. Moreover, a British businessman Karl Watkins has recently commenced his own private prosecution of Babar based on the principle of the matter."
"We now call on the Home Secretary to immediately undertake to halt any extradition until the Director of Public Prosecutions makes a decision on the material that is in his possession."
Notes to Editors:
1. 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.
2. 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.
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.